Hollywood star Alec Baldwin shot a prop gun while shooting a film and hit two people in the process.
The 42-year-old camerawoman Halyna Hutchins was fatally injured, it said on Thursday evening (local time) in a message from the Santa Fe police in the state of New Mexico.
Director Joel Souza (48) was injured in a hospital, it was said.
The investigation is ongoing.
According to the police, criminal charges have not yet been made.
The shooting has been suspended until further notice.
The incident took place on Thursday during the filming of the western "Rust" on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in the US state of New Mexico.
Baldwin is on board as the film's lead actor and producer.
The director is Souza, who previously staged the cop thriller “Crown Vic” (Eng. Title: “In the Net of Violence”).
The police were called to the set by emergency call.
Hutchins was reportedly flown to a hospital by helicopter and pronounced dead.
Souza was taken to a hospital in Santa Fe in an ambulance.
At first nothing was known about his condition.
It was just said that he was being treated.
Investigators also interviewed eyewitnesses, the sheriff's office said.
Fatal accidents caused by prop weapons
In addition, the weapon will be examined and how the bullet was fired. “The investigators assume that a requist weapon was used in a film scene. You are now investigating what type of projectile has discharged, ”said a statement from the sheriff's office. Rust Movie Productions LLC called Hutchins' death an accident. A prop weapon with blank cartridges was used.
Although props are used exclusively during filming, fatal accidents occasionally occur. In 1984, actor Jon-Erik Hexum shot himself while playing with his movie gun while shooting on the set of the CBS series "Cover Up" in Los Angeles. When a blank cartridge filled with paper or plastic came loose, the twenty-six year old collapsed. Six days later, Hexum succumbed to his injuries. As the autopsy showed at the time, the pressure had loosened a piece of the skull bone, causing a cerebral haemorrhage.
Nine years later, Hollywood was rocked by another prop gun accident. Back then, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts icon Bruce Lee, was killed on the set of the fantasy film "The Crow" by a shot by a fellow actor. Investigations revealed that the revolver had not been properly converted into a movie weapon. The relatives of the 28-year-old Californian reported on Lee's memorial page on Twitter. “We sympathize with Halyna Hutchins' family, Joel Souza and everyone involved in the Rust incident,” they expressed their condolences. “Nobody should die on a movie set with a gun. Point."
The Baldwin team did not initially respond to a request. The 63-year-old actor posted a photo of himself in western clothing and with a gray beard on Instagram the day before the incident. The newspaper "The Santa Fe New Mexican" reported that Baldwin was disturbed after the incident outside the sheriff's office and was seen in tears while talking on the phone. Frances Fisher, one of the leading actresses in the western, let fans know that director Souza was released from the hospital on Friday night.
"We have suspended filming for an indefinite period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe police and their investigations," said the production company, according to media reports.
"The entire cast and crew are deeply shaken by today's tragedy." The production company also expressed its condolences to Hutchins' family and promised the entire team to help them "deal with this terrible event."
In "Rust" Baldwin plays the bandit Harland Rust, who has a bounty on his head.
Together with his 13-year-old grandson, he has to flee from bounty hunters and law enforcement officers.
The cast includes Frances Fisher, Jensen Ackles, Brady Noon and Travis Fimmel, among others.
In his long career, Baldwin took on action roles in films such as "Hunt for Red October" or "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation", but was also in dramas such as "Blue Jasmine", "Still Alice - My Life Without Yesterday" and 2019 to be seen in the crime film "Motherless Brooklyn".
The actor has been married to Hilaria Baldwin since 2012 and they have six children.
Baldwin has a daughter Ireland from his marriage to actress Kim Basinger.Keywords: alec baldwin, joel souza, halyna hutchins, filming, prop gun, police, accident, process, camerawoman, woman, accidents, jon-erik hexum, film, investigators, hospital