Director Joel Souza has issued a statement as he recovers from injuries sustained in an accidental on-set shooting, which led to the death of his co-worker, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The 42-year-old director of photography died after being shot by a prop gun that cast member and co-producer Alec Baldwin fired on the set of Souza’s film Rust on a New Mexico ranch on Thursday, Oct. 21. Souza, 48, was treated at a hospital for his injuries before being released. Police are investigating the incident.
“I am gutted by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna,” the director said in a statement to NBC News on Saturday, Oct. 22, in what marked his first public comments about the shooting. “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.”
He continued, “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.”