Los Angeles, United States, Oct 21 (EFE).- Actor Alec Baldwin killed a film crew member of the motion picture he was shooting by firing a prop pistol which he said he did not know was loaded.
In addition to the victim, identified as Halyna Hutchins, 42, the shots also wounded the director of the film, Joel Souza, 48, who was transferred to the intensive care unit of the nearby Christus St. Vincent medical center from Santa Fe, in the state of New Mexico, United States.
Photographs published by the local Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper show Baldwin in anguish at the door of the Santa Fe Sheriff’s office, where, according to that outlet, he was questioned about the event.
The incident occurred at about 2pm at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, where several scenes from the ‘western’ “Rust” were filmed, in which Baldwin is the producer as well as the protagonist.
The Sheriff’s office has opened an investigation to clarify what happened and what type of projectile the weapon had, which is not known if it was used during the recording of a scene or in a rehearsal.
“Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was fired. The incident remains an active investigation,” the department said in a statement.
For the moment, the authorities rule out filing criminal charges.
The company in charge of the film’s production issued a letter saying that the entire team is “devastated” by what happened and promised to offer psychological help to all people related to the filming, which will be suspended indefinitely.
“We send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s (Hutchins) family and her loved ones,” he added.
Earlier, the cinematographers’ union (International Cinematographers Guild) identified the fatality in a statement.
“We received the devastating news that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for a production called ‘Rust’ in New Mexico, has died from injuries sustained on set,” Union President John Lindley said.
“Details are not clear at this time, but we are working to obtain more information and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss,” he added.
Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015 and worked on such films as “Archenemy”.
During the days of filming “Rust” he shared several photos on Instagram, one of them with a letter that said “one of the best parts of recording ‘westerns’ is having mornings like this”.
The New Mexico filming office indicated on Oct. 6 that the filming of “Rust” employed 22 actors, 75 technicians and more than 230 extras, although it is unknown how many of them were present at the time of the incident.
The event recalls the death of Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, during another recording in 1993. EFE