Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead after Alec Baldwin fires prop gun

A police investigation is underway to determine how and what type of projectile was discharged from the prop gun.

A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin killed his director of photography on a film set outside Santa Fe.

A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin killed his director of photography on a film set outside Santa Fe. Source: AAP

A woman has died after being shot during the filming of a movie starring Alec Baldwin, US law enforcement officers said. 

The incident happened on a set in New Mexico, where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th-century western.

"The sheriff's office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust," police said in the statement.

"Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer, and actor."

The sheriff's office said: "Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged."

The dead woman, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, had been airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital.

The second person, director Joel Souza, was taken by ambulance to a different hospital where he was said to be receiving emergency care.

A spokesperson for Baldwin said the incident on set involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.

Film sets usually have stringent rules over the use of prop weapons, but accidents have happened.

Most famously, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died during filming of "The Crow" after being shot by a gun that was supposed to fire blanks.

Baldwin co-produces and stars as Harland Rust, an outlaw whose grandson is convicted of murder, and who goes on the run with him when the boy is sentenced to hang for the crime.

The actor, who is believed to be 63, posted a photograph earlier on Thursday on Instagram showing him apparently on set, dressed in a period costume and with fake blood on his shirt.

"Back to in-person at the office. Blimey... it’s exhausting," he captioned the picture, which went online several hours before the incident.

Baldwin has been on television and in films since the 1980s.

As well as a number of high profile movie roles, including in "The Hunt for Red October" and two iterations of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, Baldwin has voiced animated characters in hits like "The Boss Baby".

He garnered new fans with his long-running portrayal of Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live", a character that irritated the former president, but won Baldwin a Primetime Emmy.

"Rust" also stars Jensen Ackles ("Supernaturals") and Travis Fimmel, best known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in "Vikings".

New Mexico is a favourite location for Hollywood producers.

The Bonanza Creek Ranch where Thursday's incident took place has hosted productions including "Hostiles," "Cowboys & Aliens," "3:10 to Yuma," "Appaloosa" and "Longmire."

Published 22 October 2021 at 3:36pm, updated 22 October 2021 at 4:03pm
Source: AFP - SBS