Actor Alec Baldwin fired a fatal shot with a firearm on a movie set in the US state of New Mexico on Thursday.
A 42-year-old woman, the film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, has died, the Santa Fe police chief said. The 42-year-old director Joel Souza has been taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, but his life is not in danger.
The incident happened during a shooting for the film Rust, a western for which the 63-year-old Baldwin works as an actor and a co-producer. Hutchins was taken to hospital by helicopter but died of her injuries several hours later.
It would be a weapon that was used in the western set in the 19th century. “Our initial findings show that a scene was filmed when a shot was fired with the firearm; detectives are investigating exactly what was fired,” the chief of police wrote.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and no charges have been made yet. However, the shooting for the film has been stopped for the time being. The western is about a bandit whose grandson is convicted of murder and who runs with him.
There are strict rules about the use of guns on movie sets, but accidents have happened in the past. The most famous incident is that of Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, who died in 1993 while filming The Crow after being shot by a gun that should have been loaded with blanks.
Baldwin posted a photo on Instagram just hours before the incident, which showed him on set. That photo has since been removed. The actor has been seen in movies and on TV since the 1980s. He became known for high-profile films such as The Hunt for Red October and two different Mission Impossible films. In addition, his parody of former President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live gained him many new fans last year.
The first reactions to the death of Halyna Hutchins appeared on Twitter on Friday. For example, Joe Manganiello writes: “What a terrible tragedy.” Elijah Wood says his thoughts are with the camerawoman’s relatives. Patricia Arquette calls the death a “heartbreaking sadness”.