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Eyewitness Claims One Live Bullet Shot Both Crew Members On Set Of Rust & Details Alec Baldwin's Initial Reaction

Rust Tragedy: Eyewitness Says One Bullet Shot Both Crew Members & Shares Alec Baldwin’s Initial Reaction

What happened on the set of Rust yesterday is truly harrowing…

Production of Alec Baldwin’s new western co-starring Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles got off to a truly devastating start on Thursday when the actor was filming a scene that involved a prop gun. Heartbreakingly, when fired, the weapon contained a “live round” that shot and killed the director of photography and left the director injured.

Per new reports, IATSE Local 44, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, sent an email early Friday to members revealing there was ammunition loaded in the gun, adding the film’s propmaster was not a member of the Los Angeles union. Cast, crew, and local authorities are in a tailspin to figure out how this tragedy could have occurred in the first place since the weapon was never supposed to be loaded. While the investigation is only in the early stages, an eyewitness is speaking out about what they saw on set.

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Chatting with Showbiz411, a source claimed that a single bullet hit both both Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza. It made contact through Halyna first before landing in Joel’s clavicle. So, so sad, and certainly shocking to everyone on the set, which was quickly put on lockdown.

An ambulance and helicopter arrived to rush the victims to medical care, which is good because they were certainly not prepared to handle serious injuries like so on set with just one hired medical professional on staff, according to IMDb. Heartbreakingly, Hutchins passed away before even getting to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. Thankfully, there’s a little bit of good news. Souza has since been released from the hospital after being treated for his injury, according to Deadline. We’re wishing him a speedy recovery…

As both creatives’ lives hung on the balance, the eyewitness admitted things on set were stressful but composed. Baldwin, who also serves as a producer on the film, was in complete shock but kept his emotions in check. He did repeatedly ask why he had been handed a “hot gun,” meaning a gun with real ammunition as opposed to blank rounds which are usually used for safety. The confidant recalled the 30 Rock alum musing:

“In all my years, I’ve never been handed a hot gun.”

We cannot imagine the sheer terror he must have felt after pulling that trigger…

The 63-year-old was supposedly taken to the hospital shortly after speaking to authorities, likely just to check in on his colleagues as he does not appear to have been injured himself. Sadly, he didn’t know their fates as he was headed there, the source shared:

“He had no idea how badly they were hurt or Halyna was dead.”

While filming has been halted “for an undetermined period of time,” according to a statement released by the production company Rust Movie Productions LLC, it sounds like this show may never go on.

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Rust, described as a film about a 13-year-old boy who “goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather after he’s sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher,” was a Tier 1 movie, meaning it was being made for under $6 million. This led to there only being one medic on staff, as well as a mere two stunt people. It likely affected the prop department as well, the insider reflected:

“They had safety meetings every day but it was a Tier I movie, so they probably didn’t have more than 1 prop person.”

Because of the relatively small budget, the outlet straight up claimed “Rust is done.” Sources believe that there’s no way the production could go forward, even if what happened on set was an accident. Since a crew member was killed because of negligence, the production company will likely be slammed with lawsuits that will use up all the budget (if not more).

So far, no arrests have been made in the case as investigators look deeper into the situation. Authorities are not officially calling Alec’s actions an accident until they have more information, as well. This is just heartbreaking all around. We’ll be thinking of Joel as he recovers, and, of course, sending love to Halyna’s loved ones. It’s horrifying her life was taken cut so short…

[Image via MEGA/WENN/Lu Chau/Avalon]

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Oct 22, 2021 08:42am PDT