PDS Community Reacts to Prop-Gun Incident Involving Alec Baldwin


Maddie Weinstein, Online Staff Writer

On October 21, actor Alec Baldwin was involved in a prop-gun shooting incident on the movie set of Rust that resulted in the death of 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The movie scene was intended to have Baldwin shooting at the camera for dramatic effect, but it went horribly wrong. Baldwin was reportedly told that the gun was a “cold gun,” meaning that it was unloaded, so he assumed it was safe. When Baldwin fired the gun, a bullet hit Hutchins in the chest and injured director Joel Souza. Hutchins was taken immediately to the hospital by airlift, where she passed away later that day, and Souza was taken in an ambulance and was later released. 

Baldwin tweeted shortly after the shooting, “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother, and deeply admired colleague of ours.”

 Along with many emotions, the PDS community still holds many unanswered questions about the situation. As junior Anushka Bhagavathula reacts, “I feel like Alec Baldwin is not the only one to blame. Why would the gun even be loaded in the first place?” Sophomore Tyler Nelson shared similar thoughts with Bhagavathula, adding, “I was absolutely shocked to hear the news. How do you put real bullets in a prop gun? How does that happen? They should have taken the precaution to make sure there were no real weapons on set.” As English Department Chair Dr. Karen Latham says, “I was stunned because I always assumed that guns were never real on set. I could not wrap my head around how bullets would ever be in there, and how they would not have known. Alec Baldwin came out with a statement yesterday saying that he believes prop guns should all be plastic or rubber, there should never be a real gun on the set.”

While this news has been shocking and very difficult for the PDS community, hopefully, the event changes the way prop weapons are used on movie sets, making them safer so that incidents like this will never occur again.