Alec Baldwin shot a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and injured the director Thursday on the New Mexico set of Rust, an upcoming western movie, according to authorities.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, succumbed to her injuries after being transported to the University of Mexico Hospital. Director Joel Souza, 48, was taken to Christus St. Vincent's hospital and remains in critical condition, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said Thursday.
Hutchins and Souza “were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
#NEW We’ve just received an update from @santafesheriff that actor Alec Baldwin fired the prop gun that injured director Joel Souza and killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins. Investigation is ongoing @krqe pic.twitter.com/d3XJwrjaVH— Jami Seymore (@JamiSeymore) October 22, 2021
No one has been arrested and no charges have been filed, the sheriff's office said Thursday evening, according to Variety. Detectives are interviewing witnesses in an "active and open" investigation," the office added.
Deputies from the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the set in Bonanza Creek Ranch around 1:50 p.m. local time after a 911 call, after which the sheriff's office issued an initial statement saying one woman had died and a man was injured after the discharge of a prop gun.
“There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” a spokesperson for the production said.
"The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority," the representative also said in a statement, adding that production of the movie had been stopped.
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Rust centers on a "13 year-old boy, left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880's Kansas, goes on the run with his long estranged grandfather after he's sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher," according to IMDB.
Baldwin shared a photo of himself, dressed in Wild West attire, earlier in the day on Thursday.
"Back to in person at the office. Blimey…it’s exhausting," he said in the post.
Baldwin, who is listed as an actor for the film, is also co-producing it under his company, El Dorado Pictures, according to ABC News.
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Baldwin, the oldest of four acting brothers, has been a Hollywood mainstay for decades, starring in films such as Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October, and The Boss Baby.
He has also earned recognition on Broadway and TV, including his starring alongside Tina Fey in the Emmy Award-winning NBC sitcom 30 Rock. He also portrayed former President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Baldwin is politically active in real life too. He has advocated and campaigned for Democrats in places such as Virginia in recent years. During a speech to a New Hampshire Democratic Party dinner in 2018, he issued a warning about Trump.
"It is time to overthrow the government of Donald Trump," he said. "Not in any violent or unlawful way." He also said: "Let's make America great again by making Donald Trump a casino operator again."
The actor has a reputation of being a hothead.
For instance, in 2011, Baldwin was kicked off a flight for refusing to quit playing the game Words with Friends.
He pleaded guilty in 2019 to second-degree harassment in Manhattan Criminal Court and agreed to take anger management classes in a deal with prosecutors after assaulting a man in a fight over a New York City parking spot.
Last year, Baldwin's wife, Hilaria, received backlash after it was discovered that she had misled people about her Spanish heritage and she explained her changing accent in a video posted to Instagram, now deleted. They have six children together. Baldwin also has a daughter, Ireland, with actress Kim Basinger.
In May, Baldwin slammed cancel culture in a tweet, describing it as a "forest fire in constant need of fuel" a day after he criticized members of Congress.