Film director Joel Souza says he is “devastated by the loss of my friend and colleague” Halyna Hutchins, in her first statement since a gun accident on a movie set in New Mexico.
Ms. Hutchins was killed and Mr. Souza was injured when actor Alec Baldwin fired a support pistol with a live bullet.
Mr. Souza thanked supporters for his “outpouring of affection”.
Court records say an assistant director handed the gun to Baldwin and told the actor that he was safe.
Ms. Hutchins, a 42-year-old cinematographer, was fatally shot in the chest in Thursday’s incident on the set of the film Rust in Santa Fe. Mr. Souza, 48, who had been behind Ms. Hutchins, was treated at the hospital for a shoulder injury and later released.
Police are still investigating the incident and no charges have been filed.
In his statement, Souza said: “I am devastated by the loss of my friend and colleague, Halyna. She was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, she fought for every inch and always pushed me to be better.
“My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. I am humbled and grateful for the great affection we have received from our film community, the people of Santa Fe, and the hundreds of strangers who have reached out … help me Recovery “.
The court filings show that the assistant principal, Dave Halls, was unaware that the accessory contained live ammunition and indicated that he had been discharged yelling “cold gun!”
On Friday, Baldwin, who was the star and producer of the film, said he was “fully cooperating” with the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
“My heart is broken for her husband, her son and everyone who knew and loved Halyna,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ms. Hutchins, 42, was from Ukraine and grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. She studied journalism in Kiev and film in Los Angeles. She was the cinematographer on the 2020 action film Archenemy.
She leaves behind a husband, Matthew, and a nine-year-old son.
According to the Los Angeles Times, about a half dozen members of Rust’s camera crew had left hours before the tragedy after protesting working conditions on the set of Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.
There were at least three previous prop gun misfires on set, sources told the Times.
Union members had also complained that they were promised hotel rooms in Santa Fe, but once filming for The Western began, they had to drive 50 miles (80 km) from Albuquerque every morning.
The BBC obtained a document showing which crew members were listed as scheduled to be on set that day.
Appoint a Chief Gunsmith, the crew member responsible for checking firearms. Hannah Gutierrez Reed is in her early twenties and had recently worked in this role for the first time, in the movie The Old Way.
On a podcast in September, she said that she almost turned down that job “because she wasn’t sure if she was ready … but doing it, it went really well.”
The backup weapon Baldwin fired contained a “live single round,” according to an email sent by the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees to its members, Variety reports.
In Rust, Baldwin played an outlaw whose grandson is sentenced to hang for an accidental murder.
The actor is best known for his role as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock and for his portrayal of Donald Trump on the sketch show Saturday Night Live.
These incidents on film sets are extremely rare.
Real firearms are often used in filming and are loaded with blanks, cartridges that create a flash and an explosion without firing a projectile.
In 1993, Brandon Lee, the 28-year-old son of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee, died on set after being accidentally shot with a prop pistol while filming a death scene for the movie The Crow.