Cinematographer dies after prop gun fired by Alec Baldwin malfunctions

A cinematographer working on the film "Rust" is dead and the director was hospitalized after an accident during filming involving star Alec Baldwin and a misfiring prop gun, authorities said Thursday.

Baldwin fired the prop gun, striking the film's director, Joel Souza, and director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, the sheriff's office said in a statement Thursday night.

Hutchins, 42, was transported via helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, the state's only Level 1 trauma center, "in critical condition," according to sheriff's deputies and the hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries, the sheriff's office said.

Souza, 48, was brought in an ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and was receiving emergency care, authorities said. Actress Frances Fisher, who was cast in "Rust," tweeted Friday morning that Souza was out of the hospital.

The Western, starring Baldwin and Jensen Ackles of "Supernatural," began filming this month at Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, a film location in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Deputies with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office responded to the film set around 2 p.m. local time after a 911 caller "reported a shooting on the set," the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Detectives are still determining "how and what type of projectile was discharged," the sheriff's office said earlier.

No charges have been filed in the shooting, authorities said.

The film halted production following the accident, a producer said.

"There was an accident today on the New Mexico set of Rust involving the misfire of a prop gun with blanks," the producer said in a statement to ABC News. "Production has been halted for the time being. The safety of our cast and crew remains our top priority."

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

"We received the devastating news this evening that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography on a production called 'Rust' in New Mexico died from injuries sustained on the set. The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event," John Lindley, the president of the International Cinematographers Guild, local union 600, said in a statement Thursday night with Rebecca Rhine, the executive director.

"This is a terrible loss, and we mourn the passing of a member of our Guild's family," the statement continued.

The sprawling Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch is frequently used as a film location for Westerns, including "3:10 to Yuma" and "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs."

Baldwin shared a photo from the set of "Rust" earlier on Thursday in costume.

"Back to in person at the office," he captioned the post. "Blimey...it's exhausting."

The actor is co-producing the film under his company, El Dorado Pictures, with Souza writing and directing.

ABC News' Matt Gutman and Jenna Harrison contributed to this report.
Related topics:
abc newsnational
Copyright © 2021 ABC News Internet Ventures.