A director who was injured when Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer with a prop gun has said he is “gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague”.
Halyna Hutchins, 42, died on Thursday after being injured on the set of the Western film Rust.
She was airlifted to hospital in New Mexico but was pronounced dead by medical staff.
According to court documents, an assistant director unwittingly handed Baldwin a loaded weapon and told him it was safe to use in the moments before the shooting.
Director Joel Souza, 48, paid tribute to Hutchins in a statement reported by US outlet Deadline.
He said: “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. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.
“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.”
Actress Frances Fisher, who stars in the film, said on Friday that Souza had been discharged from hospital following treatment.
According to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe, Arizona court, the assistant director announced “Cold gun” as they handed Baldwin the weapon.
Instead, the gun was loaded with live rounds and Souza, who was standing behind her, was wounded, the records said.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office obtained the warrant so investigators could document the scene at the ranch outside Santa Fe where the shooting took place.
They were reportedly seeking Baldwin’s blood-stained costume as evidence, as well as the weapon, other prop guns, ammunition and any footage that might help the investigation.
The American Film Institute has since set up a memorial scholarship to honour Hutchins and is taking donations online.
The body said it hoped she would “live on in the spirit of all who strive to see their dreams realized in stories well told”.
On Friday, Baldwin released a statement expressing his “shock and sadness” at Hutchins’ death and confirmed he is “fully co-operating” with the police investigation.
In a statement posted on his arts foundation’s social media account, Baldwin described the event as a “tragedy” and said he is in communication with Hutchins’s husband.
Photographs published by The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper shortly after the shooting showed an emotional Baldwin doubled over and apparently in tears outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
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