- Director Joel Souza spoke out after being injured on the set of “Rust.”
- Souza was struck when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop firearm on set on October 22.
- Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally struck and died of her injuries.
Director Joel Souza, who was hospitalized after a shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s “Rust,” has broken his silence.
In a statement to Deadline, Souza expressed his grief over the death of Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer who was accidentally killed when Alec Baldwin, 42, discharged a prop firearm. It was reported that Baldwin was handed the prop by an assistant director who indicated that it was not loaded with live rounds.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 44 later said the prop gun did contain a live round.
“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,” Souza told Deadline.
“My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time,” Souza, 48, said. “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.”
Insider has reached out to Souza’s representatives for comment.
Following the shooting, The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 44 shared details about the incident.
“A live single round was accidentally fired on set by the principal actor, hitting both the Director of Photography, Local 600 member Halyna Hutchins, and Director Joel Souza,” IATSE Local 44 union secretary-treasurer Anthony Pawluc told members in the email, seen by IndieWire.
Hutchins was transported via helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Souza was hospitalized for his injuries and released on Friday.
Baldwin released a statement after the incident, saying his “heart was broken.”
“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,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”
Baldwin added that he was in touch with Hutchins’ husband and her family.
Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, told Insider in a statement: “I don’t think there are words to communicate the situation. I am not going to be able to comment about the facts or the process of what we’re going through right now, but I appreciate that everyone has been very sympathetic.”
He continued: “I think that we will need a little bit of time before we can really encapsulate her life in a way that is easy to communicate.”
A GoFundMe that was launched on Friday to honor the late cinematographer has raised over $US100,000 ($AU133,959).
Hollywood filmmakers have since called for the use of firearm blanks to end, with “Mare of Easttown” director Craig Zobel calling them “an unnecessary risk.”
ABC’s “The Rookie” and the showrunner of Amazon’s series “The Boys” have pledged to no longer use live weapons during production.