Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a set in New Mexico on Thursday, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.
The incident occurred on the set of “Rust,” an independent feature that was filming at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular production location south of Santa Fe.
Hutchins, 42, was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died. Souza, 48, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, where he was receiving emergency care.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said in a statement that Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.”
That I know of this has only happened once before on set when Bruce Lee's son, actor Brandon Lee, was killed on the set of The Crow:
Around midnight on the morning of March 31, the cast and crew were filming a scene at Carolco Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. As Lee entered a room, another actor shot him from a distance of 15-20 feet. Though the gun was supposed to have been loaded with blanks, police later found that a .44 bullet entered Lee’s abdomen and lodged in his spine, fatally wounding him. He died in the hospital hours later of internal injuries, blood loss and heart failure.
Hollowed-out cartridges are often used to film close-ups of a gun being loaded; the “dummy” cartridges are then supposed to be removed and replaced with blanks before being fired. The police investigation into Lee’s death concluded that a tip of one of the cartridge’s bullets broke off from the cartridge and lodged in the gun, then fired at Lee along with the blank.
In the military when we trained with blanks we had to put BFAs (blank firing adaptors) at the end of the barrel in part to prevent something like that from happening. We also still had to 'unload, show clear', which meant visually inspecting to be 110% sure nothing was left in your chamber.
Not sure if something like what happened with Lee was also the case with Baldwin today, but no charges have been filed. Fucking terrible.
RIP Halyna Hutchins.