Alec Baldwin expressed his “shock and sadness” on Friday after law enforcement officers say he fired a prop gun that struck and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on a film set Thursday.
“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,” the actor said in a statement.
“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,” he said.
Baldwin and crew had been on the set of the Western film “Rust” on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, a New Mexico movie production spot, when the incident occurred.
It remains unclear how the prop misfired or what sort of projectile might have struck the two crew members.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating; no charges have yet been filed.
Hutchins was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital but died from her injuries, while Souza was transported by ambulance to receive emergency care at a Santa Fe hospital, Variety reported.
At 42, the Ukrainian-born Hutchins was just starting to make a name for herself in the filmmaking world, having worked on independent films including “The Mad Hatter,” created by Armando Gutierrez, and “Archenemy,” featuring Joe Manganiello. She grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle, where she was “surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines,” and first pursued a career as a journalist, according to her website.
In 2015, Hutchins graduated from the American Filmmakers Institute Conservatory and, four years later was selected as one of American Cinematographer’s rising stars.
“One thing I learned is that cinematography is not something you do by yourself. It’s a group [project],” she told the industry publication. “You need to develop your own vision, but the key to a successful film is communication with your director and your team.”
“Rust” is a story about a 13-year-old boy in 1880s Kansas who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather, played by Baldwin, after the accidental killing of a local rancher. Production has been halted for an undetermined amount of time.