OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
42-year-old Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed today while working on a movie set.
Actor Alec Baldwin, 63, fired a prop gun that killed Hutchins, who was working as the film’s director of photography.
The incident also injured 48-year-old Joel Souza who is the film’s director.
Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
Photos captured Baldwin bending over in the parking lot outside the sheriff’s offices.
Reports say Baldwin was in tears while questioned by police.
“I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,” Baldwin said in a statement.
Baldwin says he hopes the investigation can “address how this tragedy occurred.”
Hutchins’ was flown by helicopter to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
No charges have been filed, but the investigation is ongoing.
“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,” the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 44 said.
The incident was described as “an accidental weapons discharge” by Local 44 Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Pawluc.
“Local 44 has confirmed that the Props, Set Decoration, Special Effects and Construction Departments were staffed by New Mexico crew members,” Pawluc said in a statement.
“There were no Local 44 members on the call sheet. On behalf of Local 44’s Officers, Executive Board and Staff, our thoughts and prayers go out to Halyna and her family. We also send good thoughts to Joel and his family for a full recovery.”
The incident occurred in New Mexico while filming the movie “Rust.”
Agents for Hutchins said in a statement, “Halyna Hutchins was a ray of light.’
“Always smiling, always hopeful. She decided early on she would take the craft of cinematography by storm and the last couple of years proved she was well on her way,” the statement continued.
“Her talent was immense, only surpassed by the love she had for her family. All those in her orbit knew what was coming; a star director of photography, who would be a force to be reckoned with.”
In a statement, Baldwin said, “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.”
“I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna,” Baldwin added.
More from NBC:
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Baldwin was seen Thursday outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in tears. Images obtained by NBC News showed Baldwin in a parking lot outside the sheriff’s office. In one photo, the actor is seen bending over by the curbside, and in another speaking on the phone…
Bonanza Creek Ranch is often used for Western productions, including the recent Tom Hanks Western “News of the World.” Aerial video from NBC affiliate KOB of Albuquerque showed an old church that appeared to be blocked off.
On Oct. 6, the New Mexico Film Office announced that “Rust” was filming and would be in production until early November in Santa Fe. The production would employ approximately 75 New Mexico crew members, 22 principal actors and 230 “background talent.”
The film centers on a 13-year-old boy who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather after he is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a rancher in the 1880s, according to the movie’s logline.
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Hutchins was originally from Ukraine, and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines, according to her website. Before graduating from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, she studied journalism in Ukraine and worked as an investigative journalist with British documentary productions in Europe.
On her Instagram account she describes herself as a “restless dreamer” and an “adrenaline junkie.” Recent posts included a group shot of the cast and crew on set of “Rust” in New Mexico. Another post showed a video of Hutchins riding a horse, along with the caption: “One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off.”