The family of late actor Brandon Lee has spoken out after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured after Alec Baldwin "discharged" a prop gun on the set of the western film Rust. In a statement shared to the Twitter account of Lee, the son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, the Lee family sent their condolences to Hutchins and Souza's loved ones as well as "all involved in the incident," adding that "no one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."
The statement came just after news broke of the tragedy on the Rust set, with the Santa Fe Sheriff's department confirming in a statement that deputies were dispatched to the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe County, New Mexico set after a prop gun was discharged by Baldwin. Although further details of the incident remain unclear, the department confirmed Hutchins, who was attached to the film as director of photography, was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Souza was treated for injuries at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and later discharged.
Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust”. No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period. 💔— Brandon Bruce Lee (@brandonblee) October 22, 2021
The tragedy, as many have noted online, is reminiscent of Lee's death. The rising actor was killed in March 1993 while filming The Crow in North Carolina. His co-star, Michael Massee, fired a prop gun that he believed to be loaded with blanks, but was later determined to be "loaded with improperly-made dummy rounds," at Lee while shooting a scene, fatally injuring the 28-year-old.
As news of the Rust prop gun accident broke, Lee's name began trending on Twitter as people discussed instances of on-set accidents. Reflecting on the joint tragedies, journalist Mark Harris recalled how Lee's accidental death was "one of the first stories I ever covered as a journalist." He said the tragedy left him "with a lifelong dread of guns on sets," calling the Rust incident "horrific." Another social media user questioned, "How did this happen? After Brandon Lee's accidental death, I thought there were safeguards put in place to prevent something like this from happening?"
Following an investigation into Lee's death, District Attorney Jerry Spivey announced that no criminal charges would be filed. At this time, an investigation into the accidental shooting on Rust is ongoing and no charges have been filed. A spokesperson for the film confirmed in a statement that all those involved "are fully cooperating with the Santa Fe Police Department's investigation."