THE devastated director of Rust has said he is "gutted" by the death of his "talented friend" Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna, 42, and wounded director Joel Souza, 48, on Thursday after a prop gun misfired on the set of his new movie in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Souza was rushed to hospital after the shooting on the movie set at Bonanza Creek Ranch.
He has since been released, according to actress Frances Fisher.
In a statement, the director said he was "gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna".
He told 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.
"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."
Halyna was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital after the shooting where she tragically died from her injuries, authorities said.
Baldwin was pictured sobbing outside a police station after the incident.
In a statement, the 63-year-old said: "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.
"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."
Meanwhile, Halyna's husband, Matt, posted a picture of his wife and her eight-year-old son Andros with an emotional tribute saying "our loss is enormous".
"Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words," he wrote.
Her distraught family are demanding answers about her death.
Friends said dad Antoly and mum Olga were “beside themselves with grief” after being told of the tragedy by her husband.
The gun Baldwin fired in the fatal shooting on the Rust movie set was handed to the actor loaded with a live round, according to a warrant from the ongoing police investigation.
The warrant said an assistant director handed the gun to the actor and told him it was "cold" before he fired it.
The warrant said the assistant director was not aware that the gun was loaded.
And according to The Los Angeles Times, there had been a gun-related incident on the film set before Halyna was shot and killed.
His stunt double reportedly accidentally fired two rounds of ammunition prior to the incident.
That double misfire was one of many safety concerns raised by crew members on the film's New Mexico set.
Hours before the shooting, a number of people employed to work on the film walked off over safety fears.
Various sources told the Times that "camera operators and their assistants were frustrated by the conditions surrounding the low-budget film, including complaints about long hours, long communities and collecting their paychecks."
Insiders also complained that "safety protocols standard in the industry, including gun inspections, were not strictly followed on the Rust set".
The armorer working on the set was a 24-year-old ex-model and actress Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
She had only worked in the role once prior, on a film that wrapped not long before production began on Rust.
Film studio bosses fear a mega lawsuit from the family if it turns out Halyna’s death could have been avoided.
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