The family of Brandon Lee has spoken out after Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a 42-year-old woman on a film set.
Baldwin fired the prop gun on the set of the 19th Century western Rust yesterday, October 21, accidentally killing director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injuring 48-year-old director Joel Souza.
The incident is reminiscent of Lee’s untimely death on the set of The Crow in 1993, when he was shot with a blank fired from a jammed prop gun. He was taken to hospital and underwent hours of surgery, but died as a result of his injuries at the age of 28.
A tribute to Lee on the Bruce Lee Family Company website says his death ‘prompted changes in safety standards on film sets to this day’, and added he is remembered as a ‘dynamic, charismatic, and talented man who touched the lives of many through his work and his relationships’.
A statement from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office said Hutchins and Souza were shot on the Rust set when a ‘prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor’.
In the wake of the accident, Lee’s sister, Shannon Lee, spoke out on the Twitter account she runs in honour of her late brother.
She wrote: ‘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.’
Sky News reports ‘prop guns’ used on set contain blanks made up of paper, plastic, felt or cotton, though they can still cause injury when fired at close range or handled incorrectly.
Social media users have drawn comparison between Lee and Hutchins’ deaths, with one person writing: ‘Brandon Lee’s death at only 28 was so tragic and it’s horrifying that Hollywood didn’t learn from it.’
Another commented: ‘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?’
The investigation into yesterday’s incident is ongoing.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677