Alec Baldwin says his “heart is broken” for late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and her family after the tragic accident that killed her on the set of his film “Rust.”
Tragedy struck the New Mexico set of the indie Western on Thursday after Baldwin, an actor and producer on the film, discharged a prop gun that accidentally killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” Baldwin said in a statement provided to TheWrap and in a pair of tweets Friday. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
According to law enforcement statements, Hutchins was shot around 1:50 p.m. Thursday local time and died of her injuries after she was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
The investigation into the deadly incident is ongoing, the sheriff’s department said; no charges have been filed.
“According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the Santa Fe sheriff’s office said in a statement to media earlier on Thursday. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
A representative for “Rust” production did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Souza’s current status Friday, but “Rust” actress Frances Fisher tweeted shortly after midnight on the West Coast, “our director Joel Souza is out of hospital.”
“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones. We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event,” representatives for the film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, said in a statement Thursday night provided to TheWrap.
Baldwin stars in “Rust” along with Jensen Ackles of “Supernatural.” Baldwin is co-producing the film under his El Dorado Pictures. Joel Souza is writing and directing. Production began earlier this month at Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, just south of Santa Fe.
Blanks can still be dangerous and even fatal when fired at close range. Firearms thought to be loaded with blanks but loaded with other materials have also been deadly on sets.
Brandon Lee, an actor and the son of the martial arts star Bruce Lee, died in 1993 when he was shot on the North Carolina set of “The Crow.” An investigation discovered that the partial cartridge of a .44 bullet that should have been removed from the gun was dislodged and projected 15-20 feet toward Lee as a blank was fired.