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It has been reported that the prop gun that was fired on the set of Rust contained live ammunition.
In an email acquired by IndieWire that sent to the members of the IATSE Local 44 trade union, which covers prop masters, it was claimed that Rust’s prop master was not a member of Local 44.
Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Pawluc claimed the incident, that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, was an "accidental weapons discharge" where "a live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor [Alec Baldwin], hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza."
The email continued: "Local 44 has confirmed that the Props, Set Decoration, Special Effects and Construction Departments were staffed by New Mexico crew members. There were no Local 44 members on the call sheet."
Hutchins was airlifted from the Bonanza Creek Ranch after the incident, and taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police are investigating the incident. Baldwin was questioned following the shooting, and currently there have been no arrests or charges made.
In a statement, the Santa Fe Sheriff’s department said: “Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch movie set of the western Rust, October 21, 2021, when a 911 caller reported a shooting on the set.
"The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 63, producer and actor."
The statement continued: "Ms Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel.
"Mr Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Centre where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.
"This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."
A spokesperson for Rust said: ‘"The entire cast and crew has been absolutely devastated by today’s tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Halyna’s family and loved ones.
"We have halted production on the film for an undetermined period of time and are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department’s investigation. We will be providing counselling services to everyone connected to the film as we work to process this awful event."
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