Filmmaker Joel Souza has released a statement after being hospitalized for a gunshot wound on the set where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when a prop gun was fired by Alec Baldwin. Per Deadline, the “Rust” director said, “I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna. She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better.” He added, “My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time. I am humbled and grateful by the outpouring of affection we have received from our filmmaking community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out….. It will surely aid in my recovery.”
Amid the firing of the prop firearm, Souza reportedly was struck in the shoulder by a bullet and then taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he received treatment for his injuries. Hutchins was taken to the University of New Mexico hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Court documents released on Friday following the Thursday incident suggested that neither Baldwin nor the first assistant director were aware the gun contained a live round.
The information arrived out of a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Santa Fe Reporter. The fatal shooting took place during a rehearsal where, in preparation, the armorer placed three prop guns on a rolling cart. An assistant director then grabbed one and took it to Baldwin and then shouted “cold gun,” meant to indicate that the gun did not contain any ammunition.
The assistant director “did not know live rounds were in the prop-gun,” a Santa Fe County sheriff’s detective stated in the affidavit.
Hutchins’ husband Matt, meanwhile, also released a statement requesting that any memoriums be donated to the scholarship fund set up by the AFI Conservatory in her memory. The fund was established to support female cinematographers. “Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words. Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life,” Matt wrote.