After receiving calls of a reported shooting, police officers arrived to the set of the Western movie to find both Hutchins and director Joel Souza, 48, shot. A helicopter transported Hutchins to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Souza, was transported via ambulance to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital and has since been released, according to his rep Matt DelPiano.
The incident is still under active investigation and no charges have been filed, the sheriff's office said. Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses.
Hutchins is survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, with whom she had a son.
"Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words. Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family’s privacy as we process our grief," Hutchins' husband tweeted Friday, sharing a photo of her with her son. His account is unverified. "We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life."
Her younger sister, Svetlana Androsovych, also spoke out after the tragedy, described their close relationship in a Kyiv Post interview published Friday.
“I cannot comprehend (the loss). I loved her very much, I was very proud of her, and she was my role model. We were always close and remained in touch, despite the distance,” said Androsovych, who lives in Indonesia.
“Her determination was admired by many. Her marriage and relationship with her husband is an example to follow. ... It was real love," she said, describing the couple'syoung son as "a brilliant and capable boy."
“This loss is a great grief for our family, and I see how hard it is for our parents. Hopefully, time will ease our heartache."
Baldwin issued a statement on Twitter Friday expressing his grief over Hutchins' death.
"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. I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna," the actor wrote.
Souza, who was released from the hospital following the incident, sent his condolences saying he was "gutted" by Hutchins' death in an interview with Deadline published Saturday.
"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," he said. "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."
Born in Ukraine, Hutchins was raised in the Arctic Circle on a Soviet military base, according to her website. She received a graduate degree in international journalism from Kyiv National University in Ukraine and kicked off her career as an investigative journalist before committing herself to filmmaking and moving to the United States.
She began taking production assistant jobs and ended up applying to the American Film Institute Conservatory where she graduated in 2015.
“She had an interesting background, and I think that made for a unique perspective on the world,” one of her AFI teachers, Bill Dill, told the Associated Press. “She brought a wealth of experience to the movie-making process.”
The institute launched a memorial scholarship fund in Hutchins' name following Thursday's incident.
"At AFI, we pledge to see that Halyna Hutchins will live on in the spirit of all who strive to see their dreams realized in stories well told," the donation landing page reads.
As is profoundly true in the art of cinematography, words alone cannot capture the loss of one so dear to the AFI community. At AFI, we pledge to see that Halyna Hutchins will live on in the spirit of all who strive to see their dreams realized in stories well told. pic.twitter.com/zhZphl81Us
— AFI Conservatory (@AFIConservatory) October 22, 2021
Hutchins was selected for the 21st Century Fox DP Lab in 2018 and named a rising star of cinematography by American Cinematographer magazine in 2019.
“My transition from journalism began when I was working on British film productions in Eastern Europe, traveling with crews to remote locations and seeing how the cinematographer worked,” Hutchins told the magazine. “I was fascinated with storytelling based on real characters.”
Aside from Baldwin's "Rust," Hutchins has an extensive resume in film. She's worked on "The Mad Hatter," "Blindfire," "Darlin' " and mini TV series "A Luv Tale: The Series," as well as other titles.
Hutchins documented her time on the set of "Rust" on Instagram, sharing photos and videos of the location.
"One of the perks of shooting a western is you get to ride horses on your day off," she captioned a video of her on a horse Tuesday.
Another photo shows her pictured with the cast and crew in a moment of "#IAsolidarity with our @IATSE crew here in New Mexico on RUST."
The union issued a statement following news of her death mourning "sister Halyna."
"We are heartbroken and devastated to learn that one of our members, sister Halyna Hutchins, died yesterday from injuries sustained on set while working as the Director of Photography on Rust in New Mexico. Our entire alliance mourns this unspeakable loss with Halyna’s family, friends, and the Rust crew," the statement read.
Innovative Artists, the talent agency that represented Hutchins, remembered the cinematographer as a "ray of light" who was "always smiling, always hopeful" in an Instagram post Friday.
"Her talent was immense, only surpassed by the love she had for her family," the agency continued. "All those in her orbit knew what was coming; a star director of photography, who would be a force to be reckoned with. All of us at Innovative Artists are heartbroken. We mourn for her family and we hope this tragedy will reveal new lessons for how to better ensure safety for every crew member on set."
Friends, colleagues share memories of Hutchins
Hutchins also worked with director Adam Egypt Mortimer and actor Joe Manganiello on the mystery-thriller "Archenemy." At the time of the film's release, Mortimer praised Hutchins' "brilliant mind" in a Twitter thread which he resurfaced Thursday after her death.
"Her tastes and sensibility of what is cinematic were a huge asset for executing our style — the grimy but beautiful feeling I referred to as ROMANTIC BRUTALSM," Mortimer tweeted in 2020. "She was a true wartime sister, fighting the battles to make this thing look amazing despite the unrelenting limitations and catastrophes that made us wonder if we’d been cursed by a witch."
Mortimer paid tribute to his friend on Twitter writing: "I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film."
I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set. She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vcdFqHsGA0
— Adam Egypt Mortimer (@adamegypt) October 22, 2021
Manganiello shared a photo of Hutchins on Instagram and wrote he was "in shock" over the news and said his " heart goes out to her family and especially to her son. I am so sad today for everyone who knew her and worked with her."
"She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next. She was a fantastic person. There was no amount of pressure she couldn’t handle. She was a great collaborator and an ally to anyone in front of her camera," the "True Blood" actor wrote. "Everyone who knew her was rooting for her. I can’t believe that this could happen in this day and age… gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member? This is a horrible tragedy."
Actor Armando Gutierrez who worked with Hutchins on "Mad Hatter" shared photos with USA TODAY of the late cinematographer's time on set, noting she was a "rockstar director" of photography.
"From the first phone call she showed the true passion for film and attention to detail in her craft. She always wanted to make sure the lighting and equipment was perfect to get the very best in the film. I was shocked to hear about this tragic event as I have always looked forward to working with her again," Gutierrez said in an email.
Cinematographer Andriy Semenyuk, a fellow Ukrainian who met Hutchins a few years ago through friends, remembered how she welcomed him and brought him to some of her assignments. He called her a mentor with a “magnetizing” personality who stood out for her willingness to help others.
“I think the big deal about her in general, beyond being extremely talented — which is a given — is just her generous and really open personality,” he told the AP. “In the film industry, which is super competitive, it’s not enough to have talent. It’s good to have this human, appealing personality.”
Hollywood mourns Hutchins
The Hollywood community also shared memories on social media.
Patricia Arquette tweeted: "My heart goes out to Halyna Hutchins family. What a heartbreaking loss. Sending prayers to Joel Souza. I’m sure everyone is devastated."
Actor Elijah Wood said Hutchins' death is "absolutely horrifying and devastating."
Mia Farrow also paid tribute to Hutchins.
"Sorrow and absolute horror that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on set. This should never have happened. Thoughts with her family and friends," Farrow tweeted.
Comedian and actor Paul Scheer wrote on Twitter: "I’m gutted. This is beyond a tragedy and there are so many rules in place to make sure this can’t happen. I can’t even fathom how this is possible. So many people had to be negligent. This is a crime. Halyna was a tremendous talent. I’m sick to my stomach."
Nathalie Emmanuel called the news "absolutely horrifying."
Fellow filmmaker and cinematographer Elle Schneider tweeted: "Sick and devastated to hear that my friend and rockstar cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed on set today in New Mexico. I don't have words to describe this tragedy. I want answers. I want her family to somehow find peace among this horrific, horrific loss."
SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland also issued a statement on the website on Hutchins' death writing they were "devastated by this tragic news."
"Our hearts go out to the family of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins who has passed away and to Director Joel Souza who is injured and hospitalized," they said in the statement.
“This is still an active investigation and we do not yet have all the facts. We will continue to work with production, the other unions and the authorities to investigate this incident and to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.”
The New Mexico Film Commission also issued a statement on the events.
“We along with the entire film community in New Mexico are saddened by the tragedy that happened on the set of Rust, yesterday. We send our deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Halyna Hutchins and are keeping positive thoughts for a complete recovery for Mr. Joel Souza. The safety and well-being of all cast, crew, and filmmakers in New Mexico is a top priority at all times.”
Contributing: Jenna Ryu
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Halyna Hutchins dead after prop gun misfire on set; tributes pour in