Alec Baldwin comforts Halyna Hutchins’s family after fatal shooting on Rust set

Actor Alec Baldwin, who fired the prop gun that killed a film colleague, consoled her family online and in person

Sheila Flynn
Monday 25 October 2021 07:22
US actor Alec Baldwin told gun 'safe' before fatal shooting

Alec Baldwin reportedly spent the weekend comforting the widower and son of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot and killed during one of his scenes on a New Mexico film set.

The actor was pictured outside a Santa Fe hotel with Matthew Hutchins and his son just days after the tragic incident, which happened on Thursday while Mr Baldwin and the 42-year-old cinematographer were filming the movie Rust. Mr Baldwin stars in and produces the film.

Pictures showed Mr Baldwin hugging Mr Hutchins, and walking with his son, as a source told People the actor would be taking some time out of the spotlight.

“This was pretty devastating. This is how he handles difficult times. Whenever something bad happens, in the short term, he removes himself from [the] public eye,” the souce said, adding that Mr Baldwin was “hysterical and absolutely inconsolable for hours” after the fatal shooting.

“Everyone knows this was an accident, but he’s absolutely devastated,” they said.

The set, outside of Santa Fe at Bonanza Creek Ranch, had been plagued by complaints, according to reports. A prop weapon allegedly mischarged in the days before Ms Hutchins’s tragic death. Former coworkers of crew in charge of armory and props have come forward to allege previous failures to follow protocol. Just hours before Ms Hutchins was shot, some crew members reportedly walked out to protest inadequate conditions.

Mr Baldwin had been told a prop gun he was handed was “cold,” or unloaded – but it discharged, hitting Mr Hutchins and the film’s director, Joel Souza. The mother of one was killed and Mr Souza was injured.

Following the incident, Mr Baldwin tweeted: “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.

"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," Baldwin wrote. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

A vigil was held this weekend for Ms Hutchins in Santa Fe and another was planned for Sunday night in California, where Ms Hutchins, originally from Ukraine, now lived with her husband and son.

The armourer on set responsible for prop guns and weapons was 24-year-old Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the daughter of a famed Hollywood firearms expert who was coming off of her first film as head armourer. Assistant Director Dave Halls - who handed the gun to Mr Baldwin and assured that it was unloaded - had been the subject of safety complaints on previous sets, former coworkers told CNN.

New Mexico authorities continue to investigate last week’s fatal incident.