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One Crew Member Killed, Second Wounded After Alec Baldwin Discharges Prop Gun On Movie Set In New Mexico

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — One crew member was killed and a second was wounded Thursday afternoon when actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on a movie set in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

FILE — Halyna Hutchins attends the SAGindie Sundance Filmmakers Reception at Cafe Terigo on Jan. 28, 2019, in Park City, Utah. (Getty Images)

The shooting occurred on the set of the independent Western movie “Rust.”

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, and 42-year-old Joel Souza, the director, were shot when Baldwin discharged the prop firearm at about 1:50 p.m. at the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set.

Hutchins was taken by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she died, the sheriff’s office said.

Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he was being treated for his injuries.

No criminal charges have yet been filed in the incident. Baldwin is a producer on the film.

Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said detectives were investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.

Production on “Rust” has been halted.

FILE — Writer/director Joel Souza attends the “Crown Vic” New York screening at Village East Cinema on November 6, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images)

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported the 63-year-old Baldwin was seen Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in tears. A spokesperson for Baldwin said there was an accident on the set involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks, though a charge without a metal projectile is unlikely to kill at a moderate distance.

“Rust” is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s’ Kansas, according to the Internet Movie Database website. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather (played by Baldwin) after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

“We are devastated by this tragic news. Our hearts go out to the family of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins who has passed away, and to Director Joel Souza who is injured and hospitalized,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement. “This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with production, the other unions, and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.”

In 1993, Brandon Lee, 28, son of the late martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died after being hit by a .44-caliber slug while filming a death scene for the movie “The Crow.” The gun was supposed to have fired a blank, but an autopsy turned up a bullet lodged near his spine.

A Twitter account run by Lee’s sister Shannon said: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust.’ No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum died after shooting himself in the head with a prop gun blank while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of the television series “Cover Up.”

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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