UPDATED with more details: The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that director of photography Halyna Hutchins was the crewmember killed on the New Mexico set of Rust, where star Alec Baldwin was holding a prop gun that misfired, striking Hutchins and director Joel Souza. Production has been halted “for an undetermined period of time.”
PREVIOUSLY, 4:58 PM: The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a female crewmember, 42, has died from injuries resulting from a prop gun misfire on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set of the Alec Baldwin Western, Rust. She died after being transported via helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital.
Another male crewmember, 48, remains in emergency care after being transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital.
The names of the victims have not been disclosed.
“Detectives are investigating how [the prop firearm was used] and what type of projectile was discharged,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday. “This incident remains an active investigation. As more information becomes available, updates will be provided.”
Officials said sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Rust set at around 1:50 p.m. MST, following a 911 call that indicated an individual had been shot.
Deadline previously heard from sources that a principal castmember cocked a gun during a rehearsal, unaware that there were live rounds in it, hitting two people, a man and a woman. The man was hit in the shoulder, while the woman was airlifted to the hospital for stomach surgery.
A production spokesperson from Rust Movie Productions LLC told Deadline, “There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. Two crew members have been taken to the hospital and are receiving care. Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
The set was put on lockdown and an old church on the set was blocked off, according to local press reports. Bonanza Creek Ranch is known for Western-set productions.
Rust stars Baldwin and was written and directed by Joel Souza. Travis Fimmel, Brady Noon, Frances Fisher and Jensen Ackles also star in the movie, which is based on a story by Souza and Baldwin. The plot centers on Harland Rust (Baldwin), an infamous Western outlaw who has had a bounty on his head for as long as he can remember. When his estranged 13-year-old grandson Lucas (Noon) is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. Together, the two fugitives must outrun the legendary U.S. Marshal Wood Helm (Ackles) and bounty-hunter Fenton “Preacher” Lang (Fimmel) who are hot on their tail. Deeply buried secrets rise from the ashes and an unexpected familial bond begins to form as the mismatched duo tries to survive the merciless American Frontier.
CAA Media Finance is handling domestic sales for the pic, with Highland Film Group repping international. Baldwin is producing under his El Dorado Pictures banner along with Matt DelPiano through his Cavalry Media, Ryan Donnell Smith through Thomasville Pictures, Anjul Nigam of Brittany House Pictures and Ryan Winterstern and Nathan Klingher of Short Porch Pictures. Allen Cheney, Emily Hunter Salveson, Christopher M.B. Sharp, and Jennifer E. Lamb are EPs. BondIt Media Capital and Hunter Salveson and Donnell Smith’s Streamline Global are financing.
According to local affiliate KOB4, Rust is one of nine productions currently shooting in New Mexico.
This isn’t the first time an on-set death has been caused by a gun firing blanks. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on Oct. 18, 1984, on the set of the TV series Cover Up when he accidentally shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks. And in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died after a piece of a slug was lodged in his spine from a prop gun fired on the set of The Crow by another actor. Both incidents were determined to have been accidents.
#BREAKING: @santafesheriff investigating incident at #Rust movie set on Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe. Pic from @KOB4 #Chopper4 shows an old church set blocked off, and set security confirms its lockdown. Other pic of Rust cast/crew. pic.twitter.com/8Cw9eg8kec
— Tessa Mentus (@TessaMentus) October 21, 2021
Security guard at the entrance to the set of “Rust”, a western movie in production in #SantaFe, told us the set is on lockdown right now. Couldn’t share anything else. Waiting for more details from Santa Fe Sheriff on today’s incident near Bonanza Creek. @KOB4 pic.twitter.com/AXuBxGUO8X
— Giuli Frendak (@gfrendakKOB) October 21, 2021
Baldwin posted to Instagram from set earlier today, writing, “Back to in person at the office. Blimey…it’s exhausting.”
Dominic Patten & David Robb contributed to this story