Alec Baldwin kills cinematographer and wounds director on set of Rust after prop gun malfunction

A prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin on the Western movie set of Rust, killing a cinematographer and wounding the director, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department.

Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, was injured Thursday when the prop gun was “discharged” by Baldwin, the film’s producer and star, authorities said. She was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s department said.


The second victim was the film’s director, Joel Souza, 48, who was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. He was in critical condition, Juan Ríos, spokesman for the sheriff’s office told The Hollywood Reporter.


Ríos said an active investigation was underway and no charges have been filed.

“According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch set near Santa Fe, N.M., at 1:50 p.m. MST after a 911 call indicated an individual had been shot on set.

A spokesperson from the production said the “accident” involved the misfire of a prop gun with blanks. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority,” the statement said.

The Local 600 labor union, of which Hutchins was a member, said in a statement. “The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event. This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild’s family.”

The film also stars Frances Fisher, Jensen Ackles and Travis Fimmel.

Baldwin stars as infamous Western outlaw Harland Rust. When his estranged grandson is convicted of an accidental murder and sentenced to hang, Rust travels to Kansas to break him out of prison. The two fugitives must then outrun U.S. Marshal Wood Helm and bounty-hunter Fenton ‘Preacher’ Lang.