'Rust' director Joel Souza injured in movie set shooting speaks out: 'I am gutted'

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Director Joel Souza released a statement following the shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film “Rust” that left him injured and another dead Thursday.

“I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna,” Souza said in a statement to Fox News. “She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.”

Joel Souza has spoken out since being released from the hospital following the shooting on the ‘Rust’ film set.
(Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

“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. “

Souza was hospitalized after Baldwin fired a prop gun while rehearsing a scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has since been released, according to actress Frances Fisher. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed in the incident.

(News Nation/Jim Weber – Santa Fe New Mexican)

Baldwin released his own statement Friday on social media. The actor called the shooting a “tragic accident.”

“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,” he said.

“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 concluded.

The Bonanza Creek Film Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., is shown Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of a Western being filmed at the ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21, killing the cinematographer, officials said. The director of the movie was wounded, and authorities are investigating.
(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

Production on the film set has been halted indefinitely following the shooting.

An assistant director on the New Mexico movie set claimed that a gun being handed to Baldwin on Thursday was unloaded, a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court said, according to reports.

“Cold gun,” assistant director Dave Halls announced at the time, using lingo for an unloaded firearm, before a rehearsal for the movie, The Associated Press reported.

Soon afterward, court filings say, Baldwin pulled the trigger of the firearm, fatally wounding Hutchins and wounding director Souza.

Halls was unaware live rounds were inside the firearm he grabbed and handed to Baldwin, a detective wrote in an application for the search warrant, the AP reported. 

“Investigators are attempting to determine what type of projectile was in the firearm,” the sheriff’s office told Fox News in a statement.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.

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