Alec Baldwin made his first comments in front of the camera on Saturday about the fatal shooting that occurred on the set of the movie “Rust” while addressing photographers who were following him and his family in Manchester, Vermont.
Baldwin said he was not allowed to comment directly on the investigation into the filming of the film that ended the lives of cinematographer Helena Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
“I’ve been ordered by the mayor’s department in Santa Fe,” Baldwin said. “I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t.” Video posted on TMZ Saturday. “It’s an active investigation. A woman died. She was my friend.”
“The day we got to Santa Fe to start filming, I took her to dinner with Joel, the director,” Baldwin added. “We were a very well qualified crew doing a movie together and then this terrible event happened.”
Hutchins was working as director of photography on “Rust” alongside Souza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when Baldwin fired a propaganda firearm last week, injuring both Hutchins and Souza. Hutchins was flown by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, officials said, while Souza was taken to hospital by ambulance. Souza is currently at home recovering from his injuries.
Baldwin also said he “talks to the cops every day” as they continue to investigate the shooting. “I cooperate with them,” he said.
When asked about meeting Hutchins’ husband, Matt and her son, Baldwin said he “didn’t know how to discern that.”
“The man is overwhelmed with grief,” he said. “There are occasional accidents on filming sets, from time to time, but nothing like that. This is one in a trillion episodes. So, he is in shock. He has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him. We are very concerned for his family and his child. We are eagerly waiting for the mayor’s office to tell us what the investigation has revealed.”
While shooting injuries are not uncommon, there is little precedent for firearm-related injuries and deaths.
In 2016, I found the Associated Press That since 1990, at least 43 people have died while on American film sets, and more than 150 people have sustained life-changing injuries. But there have also been many cases where major accidents were not reflected in investigation records or did not appear in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s database of most severe accidents, the Associated Press reported.
Baldwin, the actor and producer on “Rust,” has expressed support for new safety measures regarding guns on film sets.
“I support them all and will cooperate in any way possible,” he said.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack Altois told NBC News on Wednesday that the investigation into Rust’s filming was “extremely complex” and “will take some time.”
The sheriff’s office said no charges had been filed so far in connection with the shooting.