Production company on Alec Baldwin film launching internal review after fatal shooting
The production company behind the Western film Rust said it was launching an internal review after star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a firearm that was being used as a prop and fatally shot the cinematographer and also injured the director.
"The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company," Rust Movie Productions LLC said Friday in a statement to PEOPLE. "Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."
The deadly incident occurred Thursday afternoon at the Bonanza Creek Ranch set in Santa Fe, N.M., according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed, and director Joel Souza, 48, was wounded. Souza was released from the hospital Friday.
The New York Times reported Friday that an affidavit from the sheriff's office said one of the film's assistant directors grabbed one of three prop guns that the film's armorer had set up on set and handed it to Baldwin, before yelling, "Cold gun!" (an industry term used to denote a gun that doesn't have any live rounds in it). Per the affidavit, which was issued as part of a search warrant application, the assistant director "did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun" when he did this.
No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the incident occurred hours after half a dozen members of the camera crew walked off the set to protest working conditions. A source told the Times that the protesting crew members, who were part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, were replaced by nonunion crew members.
The production did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment regarding the Times report.
Baldwin, 63, addressed the fatal misfire Friday on social media. "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 tweeted. "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."
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