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‘My Heart Is Broken’: Alec Baldwin Expresses ‘Shock And Sadness’ After Deadly Prop Gun Mishap

Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer on the New Mexico set of the film “Rust,” died in the incident and director Joel Souza was injured.

By Jill Sederstrom
Alec Baldwin Fires Prop Gun On Set, Killing One

Alec Baldwin expressed his “shock and sadness” over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was struck and killed when he fired a prop gun on the set of the film “Rust” Thursday.

“There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

Hutchins was killed Thursday when Baldwin fired the prop gun at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, where filming had been under way on the western, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said Hutchinson, the director of the photography on the film, was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Joel Souza, 48, the film’s director was also wounded and transported to the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center, to be treated for his injuries.

A representative for the director confirmed to Deadline that Souza was later released from the hospital.

While authorities have said they are still investigating “how and what type of projectile was discharged” from the gun, in an email to its members Friday, the IATSE Local 44—a union for prop masters—said the gun used in the scene contained a “live round,” according to Indie Wire.

“A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halnya Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza … Local 44 has confirmed that the Props, Set Decoration, Special Effects and Construction Departments were staffed by New Mexico crew members. There were no Local 44 members on the call sheet,” Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Pawluc wrote in the email obtained by the outlet.

Oxygen.com reached out to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to confirm the claim, but did not receive an immediate response.

Shortly after the shooting, Baldwin was seen in tears in the parking lot outside the sheriff’s office—where he willingly provided a statement to investigators—talking on the phone, according to the local paper. In another photo, he was seen bent over with his hands on his knees.

An eyewitness to the shooting told Showbiz 411 that immediately after the incident, Baldwin questioned why he'd been handed a “hot gun."

“In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun,” he allegedly said, according to the witness.

Hutchins had been a Los-Angeles-based cinematographer from Ukraine who had once worked as an investigative journalist before finding cinematography, according her website.

Her agents at Innovative Artists said in a statement to NBC News that they were “heartbroken” by her death.

“Halyna Hutchins was a ray of light. Always smiling, always hopeful,” they wrote. “She decided early on she would take the craft of cinematography by storm and the last couple of years proved she was well on her way.  Her talent was immense, only surpassed by the love she had for her family. All those in her orbit knew what was coming; a star director of photography, who would be a force to be reckoned with.

They added that they hope the tragedy “will reveal new lessons for how to better ensure safety for every crew member on the set.”

Baldwin stars as the title character in “Rust” which follows the story of an outlaw named Harland Rust in the 1880s.

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