Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ shooting victims: Who are Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza?

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Alec Baldwin, who authorities say fired a “prop firearm” on the New Mexico movie set of “Rust” on Thursday, leading to the death of a cinematographer and the wounding of the film’s director, is known to millions for a hugely successful acting career that has lasted decades.

But the two shooting victims – cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, who died in an Albuquerque hospital, and director Joel Souza, 48, who was treated then reportedly released from a Santa Fe hospital, are not nearly as widely known. Here is some information about them.

Halyna Hutchins

Halyna Hutchins, according to her website, was a Los Angeles-based cinematographer who was born in Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She described her childhood as being “surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines.”

She received a graduate degree in international journalism from Kyiv National University in Ukraine and later worked on documentary productions in Britain.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, died in an Albuquerque hospital after Thursday’s shooting incident, while director Joel Souza, 48, was being treated in a Santa Fe hospital.
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Before joining the crew of “Rust,” Hutchins worked on film productions such as “Blindfire,” a police drama, and “Darlin’,” a horror film, according to her website.

She graduated from the American Film Institute’s conservatory in 2015 and was named a Rising Star of 2019 by American Cinematographer, her website says.

Hutchins was also a cinematographer for the 21st Century Fox DP Lab in 2018.

As word spread about Hutchins’ death, fans began posting tributes on social media.

“A life ended far too early,” one fan wrote. “Can’t believe this has happened again.”

“Halyna Hutchins last couple of posts showed how excited she was to be working on this Alec Baldwin western,” another Twitter user wrote, “and then it ends in tragedy. So sad. #RIP”

James Gunn, director of “Suicide Squad” and other films, also posted on Twitter.

“My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family.”

Joel Souza

Joel Souza is based in the San Francisco area. His previous works have included 2019’s “Crown Vic,” a police drama that, like “Rust,” also featured Alec Baldwin as a producer.

According to the film site IMDb, “Crown Vic” marked Souza’s debut as a director of feature films.

He also worked on the comedy “Christmas Trade,” according to Reuters.

The director has a wife and two children, according to the website.

Some initial reports said Souza was critically wounded in Thursday’s shooting, but early Friday “Rust” co-star Frances Fisher tweeted that Souza had been released from the hospital. She also disputed some published reporting about the incident.

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