Alec Baldwin on killing cinematographer: ‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness’

Actor shot director of photography Halyna Hutchins with prop gun on set of new movie

Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, killing director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Photograph: Mark Sagliocco/Getty

Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun, killing director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Photograph: Mark Sagliocco/Getty

 

Alec Baldwin has said “there are no words to convey my shock and sadness” following the death of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his film Rust and confirmed he is “fully cooperating” with the police investigation.

The actor fired a prop gun while on location at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near Santa Fe in New Mexico, on Thursday, killing Hutchins and wounding the film’s director, Joel Souza. The gun contained a single live round, a Hollywood union said today in a memo to its members, according to according to Variety and IndieWire.

Tweets posted on the official account of the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation said: “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. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and...”

A second tweet said: “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 authorities, Hutchins was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, while Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St Vincent Regional Medical centre to undergo treatment for his injuries.

Director of photography: Halyna Hutchins was killed while filming the movie Rust in New Mexico. Photograph: Fred Hayes/Getty
Director of photography: Halyna Hutchins was killed while filming the movie Rust in New Mexico. Photograph: Fred Hayes/Getty

Earlier on Thursday the American news magazine People reported that a spokesperson for Baldwin had said there was an “accident” involving the “misfire of a prop gun with blanks”. The actor was seen “distraught and in tears” as he spoke on the phone outside the sheriff’s office headquarters on Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Prop guns fire blanks, gunpowder charges that produce a flash and a bang but not a hard projectile. But when the trigger is pulled, the paper or plastic wadding is ejected from the barrel with enough force that it can be lethal at close range, as proved to be the case in the death of an actor in 1984. In another on-set accident in 1993, the actor Brandon Lee was killed when a bullet was left in a prop gun.

Gun-safety protocol on sets in the United States has dramatically improved since then, said Steven Hall, a veteran director of photography in the UK. But he said one of the riskiest positions to be in was operating the camera – noting that a person would be in the line of fire in gripping scenes where someone appeared to point a gun at the audience. – PA, Reuters, AP

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.