Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
That's bizarre. How do you shoot and kill someone with a "prop gun?" Did someone switch out the prop gun for a real gun?
It's my understanding that a prop gun is a real gun that's supposed to be loaded with blanks. Blanks are made up of real brass cases, real primers, real gun powder & instead of a bullet, wadded-up paper, wax, or some other material to hold the powder in the case. When the material leaves the barrel, it spreads out & won't cause injury at a safe distance, but at the guns muzzle, the pressure is enough to cause injury or death. The only way a blank can cause injury or death is if the gun is held very close to someone when fired - as in this case:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum

The gun may have been loaded with a real cartridge instead of a blank.
 
How does a prop gun kill one and injure another?
Don't know what happened here yet.

In the Brandon Lee case there was some debris in the barrel that the blank charge sent out into Lee.

In the Hexum case he held the gun to his head thinking he was faking suicide, a joke I think. Nothing penetrated his skull, but the force of the blank was great enough to fracture his skull, leading to death.

Either way the basic rules of gun safety I learned as a kid would have prevented this. Don't aim a gun at anyone, ever, loaded or not! and Know your target, and what's behind it.

Awful tragedy but one that seems to have been preventable.
 

WhatInThe

Well-known Member
Tragic.

Since it affected 2 people have to wonder if something exploded. If you look close at the weapons in many of these shows and movies one can see like a pin hole, covered barrel. Have to wonder if that wasn't clean to let enough gases/energy escape. Or the gun was pointed at an object which in turn also created debris/projectiles.
 

WhatInThe

Well-known Member
Usually there's a cover or suppressor of somekind to stop stuff from flying out/away from the weapon. Alot of 'prop' guns one can see a covered barrel with a pinhole in it. If an actually gun they should have a way to put a blank adapter on or in it ie the pin covers/ends many a barrel . The military won't use blanks without a special weapon or adapter. Have to wonder if some safety procedures were bypassed or not available for older weapons.
 

raybar

Member
Location
Los Angeles
Questions abound - -
- What kind of gun was it? Antique from the 19th century or modern reproduction?
- If they were not just about to shoot the scene, why did the prop master or armorer give ANYONE a loaded weapon?
- Did Baldwin pull the trigger, or did the gun malfunction and discharge on its own (more likely with an antique)?

In my many years on set as a camera assistant and camera operator, we never had an accident with guns. But camera crews, because there is often nothing but air between the guns and us, tend to be restlessly paranoid about gun safety. Prop masters and armorers, at least those I knew, were even more paranoid about it, typically only giving loaded weapons to actors just before we rolled the cameras and taking them back immediately after the director calls "cut."

It seems, based on the limited information released thus far, that there was a serious breakdown in what I consider standard and mandatory safety procedures. Perhaps no one will be held criminally liable, depending on what the investigation finds, but I wouldn't be surprised to see someone held responsible in civil court.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
Yes.

Same thing(?) happened to Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee — shot with a prop gun on the set of the film The Crow:
https://www.biography.com/actor/brandon-lee
Different scenario in Brandon Lee's case involving improperly-loaded "Homemade" blanks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Lee

In the film shoot preceding the fatal scene, the prop gun, which is a real revolver, was loaded with improperly-made dummy rounds, cartridges from which the special-effects crew had removed the powder charges so in close-ups the revolver would show normal-looking ammunition. However, the crew neglected to remove the primers from the cartridges. At some point before the fatal event, one of the rounds had been fired; although there was no powder charges, the energy from the ignited primer was enough to separate the bullet from the casing and push it part-way into the gun barrel, where it got stuck (a condition known as a squib load). For the fatal scene, which called for the revolver to be fired at Lee from a distance of 3.6–4.5 meters (12–15 ft), the dummy cartridges were replaced with blank rounds, which contained a powder charge and the primer, but no solid bullet, allowing the gun to be fired with sound and flash effects without the risk of an actual projectile. However, the gun was not properly checked and cleared before the blank round was fired, and the dummy bullet previously lodged in the barrel was then propelled forward by the blank and shot out the muzzle with almost the same force as if the round were live, striking Lee in the abdomen.
 

win231

SF VIP
Location
CA
One article out today said that somebody mistakenly put real bullets in the "prop gun" instead of blanks. Ooops.
If that was the case, an important rule was violated - having real ammo in the vicinity of a firearm that was intended to be loaded with blanks.
Competitive shooters (like myself) who practice dry firing (no ammo) at home know better than to have regular ammo in the same room with the gun.
And (more importantly), a gun must be checked each time it changes hands & before doing anything to it - cleaning, etc. There are two reasons for this.
1. To make sure it is unloaded when you want it to be unloaded.
2. To make sure it IS loaded when you want it to be loaded.
Once this becomes a habit, accidents are practically impossible.
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
Good info Win 231,
All my gun are loaded-they are for shooting-period.
Kept guns locked or put away when kids were young-their grown now and know are firearms are 'live.'

Can't believe the film crew kept ball in round.
We are all familiar with 'wads' for blanks, I've never fired a 'wad' at anyone, that is not what there for.
Your explanation on post 10 (good stuff) cannot believe the film crew left the ball on the shell, the primer is enough to make a 'bang.'
How dumb can you get.

A lady is dead, no one meant to kill her and no charge of manslaughter seems appropriate, but we all have a sense of outrage.
(Wonder if the lady had kids, spouse?)
 

Bonnie

💦☃️🌧
A little about the woman that was killed ..

Originally from Ukraine, Halyna grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle surrounded by reindeer and nuclear submarines. She holds a graduate degree in International Journalism from Kyiv National University in Ukraine and previously worked as an investigative journalist with British documentary productions in Europe.

http://www.halynahutchinsdp.com/bio
 

Packerjohn

Packerjohn
Location
Canada
Gee! What goes with these new fangled, city slicker celebrities? Don't they know that you should never point a gun at anyone and when you do you have to always presume that it is loaded. Maybe they are hard to teach? James Arness (Marshal Matt Dillon) started in 635 episodes of Gunsmoke and he never really shot anyone. To tell you the truth, he never even married Kitty, the saloon keeper either but hey, maybe I'm getting off the topic.
 

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jerry old

Texas Crude
(Begging forgiveness for taking OP's topic south-it's a character deficit.
Packerjohn, Welcome to the group that takes threads south. Matt Dillion has been shot so many times that when he removes his
shirt he looks like Swiss Cheese.
He has killed scores of folks, but they get up when the camera is turned off.
Matt's late night visits to Miss Kitty's room are not recorded.
Matt and Miss Kitty were fine upstanding folk, no illicit behavior ever occurred-never.
I've often wondered if Fetus made any midnight visits to Miss Kitty's room.)

Now I will post a comment on thread that is serious
 

SeaBreeze

Endlessly Groovin'
Location
USA
I haven't heard the latest on this terrible accident, but Alec must feel terrible, I know he was crying and apologizing to the deceased woman's family. May she rest peacefully, and I hope the other person who was shot pulls through. :( I didn't hear what kind of bullets were in that prop gun yet.
 


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