ALEC BALDWIN. How did a loaded gun end up on the set of the Western Rust? After the fatal shooting of actor Alec Baldwin, leaving one dead and one injured, the security conditions are called into question.
- Drama on the set of the western Rust. On Thursday, October 21, American star Alec Baldwin shot a director of photography and the director. If the first succumbed to her injuries, the second was able to get out of the hospital. The actor, who says he is “devastated”, was probably not aware that it was a real weapon.
- Who is the victim ? At 42, Halyna Hutchins took her first steps in cinema as director of the photographer. On Saturday, her husband announced that a memorial will certainly be planned in her homage.
- Also hit by the bullet, director Joel Souza was also injured, but was able to come out of the hospital unscathed.
- According to the IATSE Local 44 union, which represents various trades in the United States, a live bullet remained in the magazine of the weapon used as an accessory by Alec Baldwin, which the investigation seems to confirm. The Daily Mails adds that chief armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed may not have been prepared enough for the job during filming. The role of assistant director Dave Halls, who gave the weapon to Alec Baldwin, will also be questioned during the investigation.
- The security conditions of the shooting will also be called into question. Several incidents had indeed taken place the previous week. Shots with real weapons had already been fired, without the incident being officially declared. Consequence of a film on a very low budget?
- Alec Baldwin spoke on Twitter on Friday, saying he was “devastated” by the drama. “Words fail me to express my amazement and sadness after the tragic accident that killed Halyna Hutchins,” wrote the comedian.
New revelation after the fatal shooting that occurred Thursday, October 21, on the set of the film Rust. According to the American website TMZ, the weapon with which Alec Baldwin fired would not be used only for the cinema. Indeed, it would have been used previously for recreational purposes, in shooting training for example. In these places, real balls are used … unlike the accessories used in the 7th art.
Director of photography, Halyna Hutchins was also working on the set of the next western. If the director Joel Souza was able to come out of the emergency on Friday evening, the woman did not survive the accidental shootings. The latter came from Ukraine and had grown up on a Soviet military base. Then she was a journalist in Ukraine, before joining the renowned Conservatory of the American Film Academy (AFI), in 2015. She had notably worked on films Blindfire and Archenemy.
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Actor Alec Baldwin, 63, accidentally fired a gun at two staff members of the Western Rust, filming at a ranch commonly used for movies in New Mexico, this Thursday, October 21, killing one person and in injuring another. The drama took place at midday in the United States, or in the middle of the night in France. The police were called to the scene on Thursday at around 1:50 p.m. local time, or 9:50 p.m. French time. According to the unfolding of events, briefly detailed by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Services in its first statement to AFP, Halyna Hutchins, director of photography and Joel Souza, director, “were shot and wounded when Alec Baldwin discharged a gun used in the filming “. According to the IATSE Local 44 union, which represents many trades, the magazine of the revolver used by Alec Baldwin contained a live bullet for a reason still unknown.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where medics declared her dead. Born in Ukraine in 1979, this regular on film sets had first married a career as a journalist before moving to Los Angeles and starting in the film industry as an assistant. Before the shooting of Rust, she had worked on the films Blindfire by Michael Nell (2020) or more recently The Mad Hatter by Cate Devaney (2021). She was 42 years old. The second victim is Rust’s director himself, Joel Souza, 48. Admitted to the hospital, he could have come out a few hours later, said actress Frances Fisher.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, this Friday, October 22, Alec Baldwin reacted on social networks: “Words fail me to express my amazement and my sadness after the tragic accident which killed Halyna Hutchins, a wife, a mother and a colleague deeply admired, “said the actor behind the shooting on Twitter, ensuring in passing “to cooperate fully with the investigators of the police”. For his part, the victim’s husband, Matthew Hutchins, told the DailyMail that he spoke with Alec Baldwin. “He is a real support,” he said. He also said he intended to publish an official statement on Twitter, in which there would be more details on the memorial project organized with AFI, the American film institute, which is underway.
“Mr. Baldwin was questioned by police,” Santa Fe sheriff spokesman Juan Rios told AFP in the first hours after the incident. “He provided statements and answered some questions. He introduced himself voluntarily and left the building after the interrogations were finished. No prosecution was initiated and no arrests were made,” he said. -he adds. While local media broadcast photos of devastated Alec Baldwin on the sidelines of this hearing, several American media indicate that it was he who pulled the trigger during the accident and that a scene was being shot or rehearsed. In the western Rust, Alec Baldwin was to play the famous outlaw Harland Rust, who allowed his grandson, convicted of accidental murder and sentenced to hang, to escape.
While attempts by several media to reach the actor were unsuccessful, the newspaper Santa Fe New Mexican posted several photos of Alec Baldwin in tears outside the sheriff’s office, on the sidelines of his police hearing. The actor appeared “distraught” while on the phone. Journalist Rick Folbaum, presenter at WGCL, a CBS Atlanta affiliate and former CNN and Fox News reporter, took over on his Twitter account several of these photos. At 63 years old, Alec Baldwin (Aviator, The Infiltrators, Mission Impossible) has already made the front page of the tabloid press several times, in particular for an altercation with a photographer in 1995, an anger in a plane in 2011 or an arrest in 2018 for acts of violence.
The Hollywood Reporter, citing a production spokesperson, immediately referred to an “accident” involving a prop that had to be blank loaded. A track that remains privileged. While an investigation has been opened to clarify the circumstances of the tragedy, no prosecution against Alec Baldwin or any other staff member has been initiated at this stage, the police statement said. Sheriff’s services seem to confirm that the incident was linked to a weapon used as an accessory on set. They specify that “investigators are trying to find out what type of projectile was fired” and under what circumstances. According to the IATSTE Local 44 union, a live bullet had accidentally remained in the magazine of the revolver.
How is it possible that a weapon a priori loaded with blank could kill one person and injure another? Although safety protocols exist and strictly regulate this kind of filming, this is not the first time that this kind of accident has taken place in Hollywood (we are thinking in particular of a similar situation which claimed the life of Brandon Lee on the filming of The Crow). It should also be remembered that a blank loaded weapon remains a very real weapon. It is simply loaded with a blank ammunition, that is to say a bullet devoid of its projectile. In principle, this blank bullet consists of a case and powder as well as paper or wax to create the illusion of a real shot. However, this does not make it a safe shot because the explosion rises to a very high temperature and can therefore be dangerous. These filming sequences must therefore be seriously supervised.
Regarding the fatal accident on the set of Rust, it would appear from the IATSE Local 44 union that a live bullet was accidentally left in the magazine of the revolver used by Alec Baldwin. An incident would have also occurred with the incriminated weapon the Saturday preceding the drama, the understudy of the actor having fired shots accidentally according to the Los Angeles Times. The shooting conditions have been singled out.