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Hollywood stunned, saddened by Alec Baldwin prop gun movie shooting

Some directors are now questioning whether on-set gunfire is even necessary in the wake of Halyna Hutchins' death while filming "Rust."
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The fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin's "Rust" sent shockwaves across Hollywood on Friday and left stunned entertainers asking how such tragedy was even possible.

Hutchins' death drew immediate comparisons to the fatal on-set accident that took the life of Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, in 1993 as he filmed "The Crow."

"Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on 'Rust,' " Lee's sister Shannon Lee said in a statement early Friday. "No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period."

Brandon Lee in "The Crow."
Brandon Lee in "The Crow."Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection / (C)Miramax/Courtesy Everett Colle

Hutchins, 42, was killed and director Joel Souza, 48, was injured when Baldwin, 63, discharged a prop gun on the New Mexico set of their western movie, according to Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies.

Actor Joe Manganiello, who worked with Hutchins in "Archenemy," posted a black-and-white picture of the cinematographer on his social media accounts and extolled her talent.

"I woke up to the messages and read the news and I am in shock," he wrote. "She was an absolutely incredible talent and a great person. She had such an eye and a visual style, she was the kind of cinematographer that you wanted to see succeed because you wanted to see what she could pull off next."

Both Manganiello and "Archenemy" co-star Paul Scheer wondered how a deadly weapon could be discharged on set, nearly 30 years after Lee's tragic end.

"This is beyond a tragedy and there are so many rules in place to make sure this can’t happen. I can’t even fathom how this is possible," Scheer said. "I can’t even fathom how this is possible. So many people had to be negligent. This is a crime. Halyna was a tremendous talent. I’m sick to my stomach."

Actor Minnie Driver offered her condolences to victim's loved ones, while questioning whether all gun safety practices were followed.

"I don’t understand," she tweeted, "safety protocols when we have prop guns on set are rightfully excessive - you go over and over them."

Director and producer Paul Feig suggested that gunfire, all together, should be banned from sets and simply inserted in post-production.

"Gun safety on sets is always a top priority and guns are supposed to be plugged," he tweeted. "Real bullets should never be anywhere near a set. And now we should ban the use of blanks and simply do muzzle flashes in post to avoid any more tragedies."

Director and Oscar-nominated writer Rian Johnson also agreed that gunfire should be a post- production special effect for safety and budget considerations. However, he admitted there's a lure to live smoke.

"Cheaper in most cases to do the muzzle flash in post. I blame the 'real is always better' mindset (which I also haven’t been immune to)," the "Knives Out" writer and director said in a statement.

In a statement Friday, Innovative Artists, the agency that represented Hutchins, said they "hope this tragedy will reveal new lessons for how to better ensure safety for every crew member on set."