Santa Fe, NM – Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin was questioned by investigators Thursday afternoon after he discharged a “prop firearm” on a movie set, wounding the movie’s director and killing the director of photography, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office (SFCSO).
The team was working on the set of “Rust,” an outlaw film set in in the 1880s, and was in the middle of filming or rehearsing a scene when 63-year-old Baldwin fired the “prop firearm” at approximately 1:50 p.m., SFCSO spokesperson Juan Rios told The New York Times.
Joel Souza, the 48-year-old director of the film, and 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, were both wounded, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Souza was transported to St. Vincent Medical Center and remained hospitalized Thursday night.
Hutchins was rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she succumbed to her wounds, the SFCSO confirmed.
In addition to starring in the film, Baldwin is one of the producers and co-wrote the movie alongside Souza, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
He willingly went to the SFCSO and provided a statement to investigators, according to Rios.
The distraught actor was seen outside the sheriff’s office Thursday evening in tears while talking on the phone, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Rios said investigators are still working to figure out exactly what happened, to include determining “what type of projectile was discharged.”
“We’re treating this as we would any other investigation,” he told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The incident occurred at Bonanza Creek Ranch, which has been locked down while the investigation continues.
No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with the shooting thus far, Rios told The New York Times.
Hutchins was originally from Ukraine and was raised on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, according to the paper.
The self-described “adrenaline junkie” and “restless dreamer” studied journalism in Ukraine before relocating to Los Angeles to study film, The New York Times reported.
Baldwin, an Academy Award nominee, has won numerous Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards during his lengthy career in movies and television, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
In 2017, Baldwin took to Twitter to denounce Huntington Beach Police Officer Eric Esparza after Officer Esparza fatally shot a suspect who punched him and tried to grab his gun, the New York Post reported.
“I wonder how it must feel to wrongfully kill someone,” Baldwin wrote.
The shooting was later ruled as justified.
The film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC, released a statement about shooting on Thursday night, according to The New York Times.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland issued a joint statement on Thursday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
“We are devastated by this tragic news. Our hearts go out to the family of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins who has passed away and to Director Joel Souza who is injured and hospitalized,” Drescher and Crabtree-Ireland said. “This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with production, the other unions, and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.”