Director Joel Souza, 48, was transported to Christus St. Vincent’s Regional Medical Center by ambulance for care. Details on his condition were not released.
“According to investigators it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” the statement said. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”
“Rust” is a Western film set in the 1880s that stars Baldwin, Travis Fimmel and Jensen Ackles.
Email requests for comment sent to the film’s production company and representatives for Baldwin and Souza were not immediately returned.
Baldwin was also a producer on Souza’s 2019 film, “Crown Vic.”
The sheriff’s office said the investigation “remains open and active” and no charges have been filed.
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Juan Rios told Fintech Zoom on Friday that a search warrant was granted for the property where the movie was being filmed and authorities will be carefully combing it over this weekend.
It’s happened before
It’s not the first time people have been killed by what were supposed to be harmless guns on a movie set.
While filming the movie “The Crow” in 1993, actor Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, was killed when struck by a bullet from a gun that was supposed to have just blanks, but had a bullet lodged in the barrel.
Even blanks can be deadly if fired at very close range. In 1984, actor John-Eric Hexum was playing around with a gun on the set of “Cover Up: Golden Opportunity” and died after putting the gun to his head and pulling the trigger.
“They all contain a charge, a powder that creates the noise and the explosive, the visual blast, and usually it’s some kind of wire or something that explodes out of the weapon when it’s fired,” Daniel Oates, former police chief of Miami Beach and Aurora, Colorado.
“These weapons can be very, very dangerous,” Oates said on Fintech Zoom’s “New Day” Friday.
Fintech Zoom’s Theresa Waldrop, Lucy Kafanov and Leslie Perrot contributed to this report.