Focus turns to safety fears before New Mexico movie shooting tragedy

SANTA FE, N.M., Oct 23 (Reuters) – The movie director who was wounded on set when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun said on Saturday he was “gutted” by the death of the film’s cinematographer, as more details emerged suggesting the production was troubled even before the accidental shooting.

Joel Souza, who was hit in the shoulder on Thursday when Baldwin fired a prop gun that unexpectedly contained a live round while rehearsing a scene, broke his silence as the investigation entered its third day, with multiple questions remaining over how the mistake happened.

“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 said in a statement.

The shot hit cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. She died of her wounds and Souza, who was behind her, was injured but later released from the hospital.

Just hours before the incident on the New Mexico set of “Rust”, a low-budget Western, several crew members quit in protest at what they saw as poor working conditions, according to multiple news outlets.

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Source: Reuters