Hollywood 2021: Alec Baldwin Discharged Prop Firearm That Killed Cinematographer Dead Wounded the Director in Critical

An investigation is underway and no charges have been filed, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.


A prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin on the Western movie set of Rust, killing a cinematographer and wounding the director, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, died Thursday after being injured when the prop gun was “discharged” by Baldwin, the film’s producer and star.

Hutchins had been transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s department said.

A spokesperson from Rust said in a statement: “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.”


Halyna Hutchins
Glengarry Glen Ross Alec Baldwin


The Ukrainian born, Los Angeles-based DP graduated from the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2015. Her credits included indie films ArchenemyBlindfire and The Mad Hatter.

The second victim was the film’s director, Joel Souza, 48, who was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. He was in critical condition, said Juan Ríos, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Directors Guild of America President Lesli Linka Glatter said in a statement that the DGA is “incredibly saddened” to hear of Hutchins’ death and Souza’s injuries. “We await further details and a full investigation. Our hearts go out to Halyna’s family, to Joel, and to everyone impacted.”

Ríos said that an active investigation was underway and 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 sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe, N.M., at 1:50 p.m. MST after a 911 call indicated an individual had been shot on set.

A spokesperson from the production said the “accident” involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority,” the initial statement said.

The Local 600 labor union, of which Hutchins was a member, said in a statement, “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”

Firearm accidents on Hollywood sets are extremely rare, but do occur. In 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of famed martial arts star Bruce Lee, was accidentally shot and killed on the set of The Crow by another actor who fired a revolver that had been improperly prepared.

The official Twitter page for Brandon Bruce Lee posted: “Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

Baldwin stars as infamous Western outlaw Harland Rust. When his estranged grandson is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. The two fugitives must then outrun U.S. Marshal Wood Helm and bounty-hunter Fenton ‘Preacher’ Lang.

The film also stars Frances Fisher, Jensen Ackles and Travis Fimmel.