Following Alec Baldwin’s discharge of a prop firearm on the set of his movie Rust at Bonanza Creek Ranch outside Sante Fe, NM today, which resulted in the death of the pic’s DP Halyna Hutchins, 42, and injuring the film’s director Joel Souza, 48, the production tonight has released the following statement, expressing condolences and pausing production for an undetermined amount of time.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Rust Movies Productions LLC
“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,” the statement continued.
“We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
Previously tonight, the Sante Fe Sheriff’s Department told Deadline that a prop firearm was discharged by the Oscar nominee, killing Hutchins and injuring Souza. Baldwin not only stars in Rust but has a co-story by credit and is producing through his El Dorado Pictures banner.
“Mr. Baldwin was questioned by investigators and released,” said a Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department official. “No arrests or charges have been filed.”
“This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”
Sources have informed us that Baldwin was unaware of the type of ammunition in the prop gun. Traditionally on a film set, the first Assistant Director is in charge of set safety with the propmaster in charge of firearms.
This wouldn’t be the first time an on-set death has been caused by a gun firing blanks. Actor Jon-Erik Hexum was killed on October 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. Production on The Crow would continue and the movie was released in 1994.
Rust was one of nine productions shooting in the state of New Mexico currently.