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Alec Baldwin shoots filmer dead with prop gun on movie set

Alec Baldwin was unknowingly handed a gun loaded with live ammunition
Baldwin was unknowingly handed a gun loaded with live ammunition (Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic)

Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a movie set in New Mexico, leaving cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza wounded.

The actor was unknowingly handed a gun loaded with live ammunition by an assistant director who told him it was safe by shouting “cold gun!”

According to authorities, the incident occurred on Thursday on the set of the actor’s western film Rust at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a production location south of Santa Fe.

“The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor,” read the police statement.

Hutchins who was fatally shot in the chest was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead [File: Fred Hayes/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP]

Souza who was standing behind her was wounded on the shoulder and taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital to undergo treatment for his injuries. His reps confirmed to Deadline on Friday that he had been released.

Actress Frances Fisher took to Twitter to share the happy news saying “Souza texted me that he’s out of hospital.”

Baldwin first addressed the incident on Friday morning, sharing a statement via Twitter saying he was “heartbroken”.

“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,” he wrote.

“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,” the actor continued. “My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”

According to a statement by the Sheriff’s office, no charges have been filed so far but “the investigation remains open and active,”

Deadline cited a source in the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department as saying that Baldwin was questioned by investigators and later released.

The film’s production company, Rust Movie Productions LLC said that that the movie set has now been shut down, with production indefinitely halted.

“The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones,” the company said in a statement. “We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counseling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event.”

Winnie Nantongo

Editor-in-Chief, The Postdale Daily

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