|Halyna Hutchins, Baldwin's victim|
They’re calling this an “accident”:A tragedy occurred on the set of the latest Alec Baldwin movie where the actor reportedly accidentally shot and killed a female cinematographer and injured the director due to a prop gun misfire.
“Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a set in New Mexico on Thursday, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza,” reported Variety.
The tragic incident reportedly occurred on the Bonanza Creek Ranch set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Alec Baldwin was shooting his upcoming Western, Rust. Hutchins, who originally remained unidentified, died after being transported via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital.
Director Joel Souza remains in emergency care after being transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Thursday that both Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor.”
Sources told Deadline, which initially reported that the incident occurred when Baldwin reportedly “cocked a gun during a rehearsal, unaware that there were live rounds in it, hitting two people, a man and a woman.” Representatives for Baldwin, a rabid anti-gun demagogue, did not immediately respond to media requests for comment.
|His living victim, Joel Souza|
A few more details, via Daily Mail:Alec Baldwin allegedly repeatedly asked ‘why was I handed a hot gun?’ after he accidentally shot and killed a female cinematographer and wounded a director yesterday on the set of his new film Rust. . . .Total mystery, as well as a tragedy, but the fact that Alec Baldwin, an outspoken opponent of Second Amendment rights, shot and killed a woman is also deeply ironic. Make of that what you will.
A spokesman for the movie’s production company has insisted that only blanks were used, but the sheriff’s department is yet to confirm that. It’s unclear if this was the first and only shot Baldwin fired, or if others had been fired safely.
Immediately after firing the fatal shot, Baldwin asked why he’d been handed a ‘hot’ gun, according to Hollywood gossip site Showbiz 411. . . .
Mike Tristano, 60, a Hollywood armorer with 30 years’ experience . . . said ultimate responsibility for gun safety on movie set rests with the armorer. . . .
‘There should have been blanks in the gun, the on-set armorer’s job is to check that before handing the weapon over,’ Tristan said.
‘They then make sure that the actor stands on a mark and never points the gun at the crew or cast… the editing makes it seem like they were pointing at their co-actor.
‘That’s why everyone in the industry is very confused. How this happened is a total mystery at the moment.’
The last line of defense against a gun accident on set should be the actor that picks up the gun, who should check to see if it's loaded or loaded with blanks. The last should be the producer, to make the rules such that safety is a priority on the set. Guess who that person would be.
Why would there be any live ammunition on the set? I know blanks can kill, but it's hard to imagine killing one and seriously wounding another with ammunition without a projectile.
UPDATE: There was apparently one live round in the gun used by Baldwin. It passed through Hutchins, and into Souza. Still no word on how or why that round got into the pistol.
UPDATE 2: Also from Stacy, but widely reported, Union Crew Walked Off Alec Baldwin Film Set Before Fatal Shooting. Was Alex (as producer) cutting corners?