Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on set of movie, killing a crew member and injuring director

Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a movie set Thursday, killing the film’s director of photography and injuring its director, police said.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed and Joel Souza, 48, was injured on the set of “Rust,” a Western being filmed at the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Sante Fe, New Mexico, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office.

Hutchins was transported via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Souza was brought to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to undergo treatment for his injuries.

The circumstances of the shooting are under investigation. No charges have been filed.

“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 International Cinematographers Guild, and Rebecca Rhine, the executive director, in a statement to Variety.

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

Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015. She was involved in several short films before working on “Archenemy,” a 2020 feature film starring Joe Manganiello.

Originally from Ukraine, she held a graduate degree in international journalism from Kyiv National University and previously worked as an investigative journalist with British documentary productions in Europe.

In 2019, she was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s rising stars.

Hutchins’ death echoes that of actor Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts movie legend Bruce Lee. Brandon Lee died after he was shot by a round from a prop gun while filming for the movie “The Crow” in 1993.

“There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” a spokesperson for Baldwin said in a statement to NBC News. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”

Baldwin, 63, is a co-producer on “Rust” and plays infamous outlaw Harland Rust, whose 13-year-old grandson is convicted of an accidental killing. Rust travels to Kansas to break his grandson out of prison and the two fugitives must outrun U.S. Marshal Wood Helm and bounty-hunter Fenton “Preacher” Lang.

Earlier Thursday, Baldwin posted an photo of himself on Instagram in costume for the film, complete with what appeared to be fake blood on his shirt.

Recently known for portraying President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” and starring in the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” Baldwin has won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards and been nominated for an Academy Award and a Tony Award.

Baldwin has hosted “SNL” 17 times, more than any other person, and starred in films like “The Departed,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and the “Mission Impossible” franchise. He was also the producer on director Souza’s film “Crown Vic.”

Baldwin has a history of losing his temper, which has included incidents leading to his arrest. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to harassment of another person in connection to a dispute over a parking spot in Manhattan in Nov. 2018. He agreed to undergo anger management counseling in that case.

Before that, police arrested him for riding his bicycle the wrong way, and for disorderly conduct after he allegedly became belligerent with the cops who stopped him.

Baldwin was also acquitted of misdemeanor battery charges after being accused of punching a freelance photographer in California in 1995, breaking the lensman’s nose.

The actor is married to Hilaria Baldwin, and they have six children together. He also has a daughter named Ireland from his previous marriage to actress Kim Basinger.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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