In an unexpected tragedy, American actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun during the shooting of his film, Rust, killing a cinematographer and injuring the director, law enforcement officers issued a statement on Thursday. The shocking incident took place on the sets of the upcoming 19th-century western film in New Mexico, US, where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza "were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin," Santa Fe sheriff said in a statement. Hutchins, 42, was flown in a helicopter to a hospital, but succumbed to her wounds, while Souza, 48, was rushed by an ambulance and is currently undergoing treatment. No charges have been filed, with an investigation launched and witnesses currently being interrogated. 

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson from the film's production told that the "accident" involved a prop gun with blanks being misfired by Alec Baldwin. The film's director Joel Souza was reported to be in "critical condition", a sheriff's spokesman has informed the publication. Rust is being co-produced by Baldwin and stars the actor as Harland Rust, a criminal on the run with his grandson, who has been convicted of murder and is sentenced to death by hanging for the crime. Earlier on Thursday, prior to the shooting incident, the 63-year-old actor posted a photo on Instagram from the sets of Rust in which he is seen wearing a period costume with fake blood on his shirt. He captioned the picture: "Back to in-person at the office. Blimey... it's exhausting."

Alec Baldwin has been a Hollywood veteran appearing in films since the 1980s, including starring in the last two Mission Impossible franchise ventures. Baldwin, who has also voiced animated characters in The Boss Baby, garnered a massive young following for his impersonation of former US President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, which won him a Primetime Emmy. Apart from Baldwin, Rust also stars Jensen Ackles of Supernaturals fame and Travis Fimmel, who gained popularity playing Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings