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Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed a woman, and wounded a man, on the set of a new movie and his reaction to the tragedy has apparently leaked to the press.
The actor repeatedly asked “why was I handed a hot gun?” after the tragic shooting, The Daily Mail reported.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, died shortly after being shot by Baldwin around 1.50pm Thursday at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near the city of Santa Fe in New Mexico. Joel Souza, 48, the film’s director, was also hurt and spent several hours in hospital, but was released later the same evening.
Police have disclosed few details about the shooting, saying only that a ‘projectile’ was fired by a ‘prop gun’ and they are investigating. A spokesman for the movie’s production company later said that accident involved ‘the misfire of a prop gun loaded with blanks’.
A witness told Hollywood gossip site Showbiz 411 that Baldwin immediately began asking why he was handed a ‘hot gun’ – which typically means a gun loaded with real ammunition – after the shooting.
This is not the first time someone was killed on a movie set with a “hot gun.” The most famous case being that of actor Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, on the set of “The Crow” in 1993.
“There should have been blanks in the gun, the on-set armorer’s job is to check that before handing the weapon over,” Mike Tristan, 60, a Hollywood armorer with three decades of experience, 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,” he said.
‘That’s why everyone in the industry is very confused,” he said. “How this happened is a total mystery at the moment.”
Director James Cullen Bressack said after the tragedy that he will never use blanks on the set of any of his movies again.
“I will never use anything but airsoft and rubber guns on my movies ever again. This should never have happened. Halyna, you were a gem,” he said. “This is so f****d up.”
There were many reactions to the tragedy from Hollywood stars.
“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” a spokesperson for Rust Movies Production LLC said to Deadline.
“We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation,” the spokesman said. “We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on ‘Rust’. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period,” the family of Brandon Lee said.
Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period. 💔
— Brandon Bruce Lee (@brandonblee) October 22, 2021
“Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes out to her family,” actor Elijah Wood said on Twitter.
Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes out to her family.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) October 22, 2021
“My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family,” director James Gunn said.
My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 22, 2021
“Deepest condolences to the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins. Crew should never be unsafe on set and when they are there is always a clearly definable reason why. #IASolidarity,” actor and director Alex Winter said.
Deepest condolences to the family and friends of Halyna Hutchins. Crew should never be unsafe on set and when they are there is always a clearly definable reason why. #IASolidarity
— Alex Winter (@Winter) October 22, 2021
No criminal charges have been filed but a criminal investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.
“’According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
“The incident remains an active investigation. As more information becomes available, updates will be provided,” he said.