Alec Baldwin breaks silence after prop gun shooting: ‘My heart is broken’

Alec Baldwin says he is in touch with the family of Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography who was killed on the set of the movie Rust on Thursday

Megan Sheets
Friday 22 October 2021 18:52
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Alec Baldwin 'discharged' prop gun that killed Rust cinematographer
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Alec Baldwin has said his “heart is broken” after he fired a prop gun on the set of his movie Rust, killing a crewmember and wounding the director.

“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.”

The Twitter statement marked Baldwin’s first public comments since authorities confirmed on Thursday that it was he who “discharged” the prop gun that killed his film’s director of photography, 42-year-old Halyna Hutchins,  and injured its director Joel Souza on set in New Mexico.

Baldwin was filming a forthcoming Western Rust at Bonanza Creek Ranch when the tragedy occurred.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement following the incident confirming that Mr Souza, the film’s director, was undergoing treatment at Christus St Vincent’s hospital. The 48-year-old filmmaker is reportedly in emergency care.

Ms Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Her husband Matthew Hutchins on Friday confirmed that he has been in contact with Baldwin.

“I have spoken with Alec Baldwin and he is being very supportive,” Mr Hutchins told the Daily Mail.

Police said that the investigation remains “open and active” and that “no charges have been filed in regard to the incident” so far.

“Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Baldwin was seen “in tears” outside the sheriff’s office on Thursday night, according to local news outlet Santa Fe New Mexican.

In a series of pictures taken by the publication, the 30 Rock star, dressed in a navy t-shirt and holding a mask, was seen doubled over in the office’s car park talking on the phone.

A distraught Alec Baldwin is seen speaking on the phone outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night

IATSE Local 44, a union representing propmasters in the Los Angeles area, addressed the shooting in an email to members on Friday morning and said the prop gun fired by Baldwin contained “a live single round,” rather than a blank.

The organisation said no members of Local 44 were listed on the Rust call sheet, including the film’s propmaster, who has yet to be named publicly.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately return The Independent’s request for confirmation of the details in the Local 44 email, which was first reported by IndieWire.

A spokesperson for Baldwin previously said the accident involved “the misfire of a prop gun with blanks.”

Ms Hutchins’ death was confirmed by the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600. In a statement to Variety, guild president John Lindley and executive director Rebecca Rhine said: “We received the devastating news this evening, that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the Director of Photography on a production called Rust in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set.”

“This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”

An American Film Institute (AFI) graduate, Ms Hutchins worked on several short films as well as full length feature Archenemy starring Joe Manganiello. She was named “rising star” by American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.

Ms Hutchins posted a photograph from the set of Rust two days ago. She also shared a video of herself, enjoying her day off, horse-riding on the same day.

There was an outpouring of grief on social media in the wake of Ms Hutchins’ death.

Archenemy director Adam Egypt Mortimer retweeted a post about working with Ms Hutchins that read: “Halyna Hutchins, Archenemy DP, has a brilliant mind for light and texture. Her tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for executing our style — the grimy but beautiful feeling I referred to as ROMANTIC BRUTALSM.”

Actor Elijah Wood offered his condolences and said: “Absolutely horrifying and devastating news about cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. My heart goes out to her family.”

Actor Debra Messing spoke out in support of Baldwin, writing on Twitter: “A prop gun was handed to him . He used it in the scene. Then – a catastrophic event happened where Halnya Hutchins lost her life and Joel Souza was injured. I am praying for all of their families.”

Writer Caitie Delaney, who has worked on the show Rick and Morty, wrote after news of the incident broke: “Like obviously it’s the story but it is really not fair to have Alec Baldwin be the face of this tragedy. He wasn’t in charge of loading that gun. Safety on set needs to be taken so much more seriously.”

Author Don Winslow shared: “What happened on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie is a horrible tragedy. Truly heartbreaking. But since no one knows what happened YET please let’s wait for the investigation BEFORE we cast aspersions about something we don’t know anything about.”

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