Actor Alec Baldwin has never been one to hide his politicals, particularly his feelings about gun rights and the Second Amendment.
Yet, like many of his colleagues in Hollywood, that’s never stopped him from using firearms in his films. After all, gun control laws really should only apply to peasants like us, not the Hollywood elite.
Of course, I’m not so sure Baldwin will be interested in handling prop guns anymore.
Producer and actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a woman and injured a man on the set of the movie “Rust” in New Mexico on Thursday, Santa Fe County sheriff’s office said.
The film’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed, and director Joel Souza, 48, was injured when Baldwin, 63, discharged a prop firearm, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Thursday evening.
Souza was taken to the hospital by ambulance and was receiving emergency care, officials said. Frances Fisher, an actress in the movie, later tweeted that Souza was out of hospital, although NBC News did not immediately confirm that the director had been released.
“There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks,” a spokesperson for Baldwin said in a statement. “Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority.”
A representative for Baldwin declined to comment further.
Hutchins’ representative declined to comment. She was flown by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said.
No charges have been filed, the sheriff’s office said, adding that the investigation is ongoing. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched around 1:50 p.m. local time (3:50 p.m. ET) after a 911 call about a shooting on the set, the office said.
As of right now, we don’t quite know how things happened. For example, why was Baldwin pointing a gun in the direction of the director and the director of photography? Was this part of the script and thus a tragic accident, or was Baldwin being a jackwagon with a firearm, believing he it was safe because they were blanks?
We simply don’t know, though I can’t actually imagine a situation where the director wanted Baldwin to point a gun at him and the cinematographer on purpose.
Regardless, that will probably determine whether Baldwin is charged or not, and charges are a real possibility. After all, even if the shooting was unintentional, a person’s negligence with a dangerous object can still result in criminal charges.
However, my initial gut reaction tells me that’s somewhat unlikely. Actors generally don’t get to screw around with prop guns on the set, even big-name stars like Alec Baldwin. The armorer tends to be very controlling of those weapons, which may suggest that Baldwin was likely filming a scene when the incident happened.
Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. I still don’t see how a prop gun loaded with blanks killed one person and injured another from any appreciable distance. My gun is also telling me something hinky happened.
Either way, this is a horrible tragedy that I’m sure has left the cast and crew stunned, probably none more so than Baldwin. While he and I are on the opposite side of a whole lot of issues, I wouldn’t wish something like this on my worst enemy. He’s going to have to live with this for the rest of his life. That’s a terrible burden if it was just a tragic accident, but if negligence is involved, it may well result in prison time.
It probably should, to be honest.
Plus, I can’t see this story without thinking about the death of Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow. He, too, was killed during a prop gun mishap. Alec Baldwin won’t be the first actor who pulled the trigger and someone really died, but hopefully, something can be learned from this so it won’t happen again.
This is obviously a story we’re going to be keeping an eye on to see how it develops. In the meantime, my prayers go out to Hutchins’ friends and family, as well as director Joel Souza for a speedy recovery from his injuries.