Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin says his “heart is broken” and there are “no words” as he paid tribute to the cinematographer who was killed when he fired a prop gun on his latest movie set.
In his first public statement since the fatal incident, Baldwin said on Twitter he was fully co-operating with a police investigation to determine how it occurred.
“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,” Baldwin wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“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.”
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. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
The prop shooting occurred on the set of the movie Rust in New Mexico, at a ranch south of Santa Fe, according to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department.
The film’s director, Joel Souza, was wounded and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
Ms Hutchins was transported by helicopter to the University of Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
As questions swirl about what went wrong, the union representing entertainment workers has told its members the prop gun that killed Hutchins contained a single live round, according to movie industry trade publications.
“A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza,” a local branch of the IATSE union told members in the memo, according to Variety and IndieWire.
A local news outlet reported that it was understood Ms Hutchins and Mr Souza were both hit by the same shot, and the director had been standing very close, if not behind, the cinematographer.
Filmmakers who have worked with firearms say the blanks in prop guns — which can be wads of paper, plastic, felt or cotton — can cause a lot of injury
The guns used on movie sets can be real, replicas or a mix of both.
Baldwin, 63, is a co-producer of Rust, a western movie set in 1880s Kansas and also plays the eponymous character who is an outlaw grandfather of a 13-year-old boy convicted of an accidental killing.
The sheriff’s office said no charges had been filed and the investigation remained “open and active”.
Media reported seeing Baldwin crying outside the sheriff’s office.
The actor voluntarily gave a statement about the shooting at the sheriff’s office, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported.
Actress Frances Fisher, who is co-starring in the movie, said on Twitter: “Souza texted me that he’s out of hospital.”
Ms Hutchins, who was born in the Ukraine, studied journalism and film and was named a “rising star” by the American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.
Baldwin is the eldest of the four Baldwin actor brothers and is best known for his role as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock and his Donald Trump sketch on Saturday Night Live.