Alec Baldwin has discharged post inquiry after killing one of the crew members and injuring the director after firing a prop gun in the sets. The tragic incident took place on 21st October 2021 on the sets of ‘Rust’ western in New Mexico.
There have been no charges on Baldwin as of now and potential witnesses are being inquired by the Sheriff’s office and criminal investigators are investigating the scene at Bonanza Ranch Creek movie sets just outside New Mexico.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, the director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, the director of the movie were the victims of this tragic misfire. Halyna was transported to the University of New Mexico hospital via helicopter where she was pronounced dead by a professional. Souza is currently hospitalized at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical center.
The crew has decided to resume shooting once things settle down. Generally, a prop master is responsible for the handling and safety of firearms in sets like Rust but the 911 call about the shooting mentioned nothing about the source, authorities have not yet revealed if the blank was fired intentionally with the motive to hurt or whether it was a misfire.
The Cinematographers Guild’s National President, John Lindley, National Executive Director, Rebecca Rhine, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland expressed their grief over the tragic incident. They also added, “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event”
This is also not the first time a blank has killed or injured crew members. Previously, actor Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally shot himself in the sets of ‘Cover Up’and Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, died after a slug lodged into his spine during a shoot.
The sound produced by blanks are accurate to real ones and thus, they have become an irreplaceable prop at Hollywood. “Blank firearms can kill and it is important to treat it as a loaded one” has become a popular safety bulletin following these accidents.