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Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun That Killed Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, Injured Director

By Gene MaddausPat Saperstein

 Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in an incident involving a prop gun on the set of “Rust,” an Alec Baldwin film that was shooting in New Mexico on Thursday.

A second person was injured, and was receiving emergency care at a hospital in Santa Fe.

Hutchins’ death was confirmed by the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600.

“We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called ‘Rust’ in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set,” said John Lindley, the president of the guild, and Rebecca Rhine, the executive director, 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.”

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said it was investigating the incident, which was reported at 1:50 p.m. Mountain Time at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a popular filming location south of Santa Fe.

“The Santa Fe County sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot during filming of a scene on the set of the movie western ‘Rust’,” the office said in a statement. “According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged. Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Hutchins was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe.

Joel Souza is writing and directing the Western, which also stars Frances Fisher, Jensen Ackles, Brady Noon and Travis Fimmel. Albuquerque station KOB4’s news helicopter photographed the incident, showing an old church set blocked off, and reported that set security confirmed it is on lockdown.

Baldwin is a co-producer on the film and plays infamous outlaw Rust, whose 13-year-old grandson is convicted of an accidental murder. Ackles plays a U.S. Marshal and Fimmel plays a bounty hunter who are on the pair’s tail as Rust tries to break his grandson out of prison. An unexpected bond forms between the outlaw and his estranged grandson as they go on the run.

CAA Media Finance and Highland Film Group were launching sales on the film at last year’s Cannes virtual film market, with Baldwin producing through his El Dorado Pictures banner alongside Anjul Nigam and executive producer Matthew Helderman. Baldwin and Nigam produced Souza’s previous feature, 2019’s “Crown Vic.” Anna Granucci is also producing with Elizabeth L. Barbatelli as an executive producer.

New Mexico is a busy film location, and the Bonanza Creek Ranch has hosted productions including “Hostiles,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Appaloosa” and “Longmire.”

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