Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Tragic Shooting on Film Set of “Rust”

On October 21st, on the filming set of the movie “Rust,” American actor and comedian Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins as well as injured director Joel Souza. Film staff called the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident, and medics arrived to treat the wounded. Following her medical evacuation by helicopter, Halyna Hutchins was officially pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Joel Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center located in Santa Fe and was released a short time later. Production on the movie has since halted so that the authorities can investigate what happened that day.

As of November 5, there have been no arrests with the investigation still ongoing, but multiple individuals are being examined as people of interest. Alec Baldwin, the shooter, is one; David Halls, the film’s assistant director, is another, as many have claimed that he was the one who had handed the gun to Baldwin. He had also reportedly declared it a “cold gun,” meaning that the prop gun should not have had live ammunition, a declaration that turned out to be false. In fact, police discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition on the film set, including blanks and live rounds, all of which were confiscated for the investigation. At the news of this discovery, major media outlets became increasingly aggressive to the movie staff, claiming that an accident was practically inevitable due to so much live ammo being present at the scene. However, the staff defended their actions, stating that the live ammo should not have even been near the scene being filmed, and the fact that it was proves that this incident was all a simple accident. 

The police have stated that all members of the film, including the shooter Baldwin, are cooperating with the investigation. And with director Joel Souza recovering from his injuries, he was finally able to tell his story to the police. He stated to the authorities that both he and Hutchins were standing next to one another, preparing to shoot a scene, when they heard what sounded like “a whip and loud pop.” It turned out that Baldwin had been practicing the scene and was pointing the gun accordingly at the camera lens when the weapon went off. The shot hit both Hutchins and Souza, with Hutchins being hit in the midsection and Souza in his shoulder. He also disclosed that the guns present on the set should have first been checked by the armorer of the film, Hannah Guiterrez-Reed, and had been double-checked by Dave Halls, who then gave the gun to Baldwin. The question that the police currently seek to answer is the unlikelihood that out of Guiterrez-Reed, Halls, and Baldwin, no one had discovered the live ammunition inside the gun. Some theories point to carelessness or even intentional wickedness. However, no matter the investigation’s end result, it is undeniable that the innocent life of Halyna Hutchins has been cut short. The authorities will continue to do everything they can to bring those responsible for her death to justice and finally resolve this entire tragedy.

Image 1: Alec Baldwin, the shooter and one of the main people of interest

Image 2: Joel Souza, one of the victims who was only injured


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