Actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed the director of photography Halyna Hutchins on the film "Rust," set on Thursday, October 21, 2021, also injuring director Joel Souza. A spokesman for the company shooting the film told The Hollywood Reporter that the incident occurred during filming a scene where Baldwin was supposed to shoot blank cartridges. The gun was being used on set as a prop item. That Baldwin was firing a prop gun was also claimed by representatives of the actor and police. According to them, it was a gun loaded with blank cartridges.

On Thursday evening local time immediately after the incident, IATSE Local 44, the United States and Canada show business union, sent out a letter to its members stating: "The leading actor accidentally fired one live round." Police, however, have yet to confirm or deny the suggestion that the gun, along with the blanks, accidentally contained live ammunition.

New details of the police investigation came to light on October 22, when a search warrant was formally requested from the Santa Fe, New Mexico court. An assistant director took one of the three prop guns prepared by a gun specialist working on the set and gave it to Alec Baldwin. According to the evidence gathered, he announced that the gun was not loaded.

The assistant director also did not know that the gun contained live ammunition, the document said.

The police file also stated that Baldwin's blood-stained clothing was seized as evidence along with the gun. Police also took other props' weapons. Police questioned the 63-year-old actor, but no one has been charged about what happened.

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Actor's severe shock

Baldwin commented the day before, saying he was heartbroken: "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 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," Baldwin wrote on Twitter.

Details of the tragedy

Halyna Hutchins, who was 42, was flown to the hospital by helicopter, but she died. Souza, 48, was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Participating American actress Frances Fisher tweeted that he had already been released from the hospital, though it had previously been reported that Souza was in intensive care.

"Our director Joel Souza is out of the hospital," the actress wrote.

Journalist Tessa Mentus posted photos taken during the shooting on her Twitter account. The incident happened at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, where Hollywood movies are often filmed.

The deceased cinematographer

Halyna Hutchins told her website that she was born and raised "surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines": in a military family that served at a Soviet military base above the Arctic Circle. She graduated from Kyiv State University with a degree in international journalism and then worked on documentaries in Great Britain.

In 2015, she received a film education in the U.S. and had a successful career as a director of photography.

She shot the superhero film "Max Fist" ("Archenemy") and the horror film "Darlin'' among others. In 2019, American Cinematographer Magazine named her one of the rising stars of American filmmaking.

One of Galina's recent Instagram posts is a video of her riding a horse, with the caption, "One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off:)."

Colleagues remember Galina Hutchins as an indisputable professional. The Motion Picture Guild of America has called Hutchins' death tragic news and a terrible loss. "Details of what happened are not yet clear, but we are figuring them out and are supporting a full investigation into this terrible accident," the guild said in a statement.

Employees of the American film industry say that weapons on American film sets are very strictly regulated. Prop guns and blank cartridges, while considered safe, can, in some circumstances, kill people. Such accidents happen, but rarely, and each of them shocks the film industry.