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Alec Baldwin Shoots Prop Gun, Kills One, Injuries Another On Set Of ‘Rust’

Actor and producer Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on Thursday that killed one crew member while injuring another on the set of the upcoming film “Rust” at Bonanza Creek Ranch, New Mexico, Santa Fe County’s sheriff confirmed.

“Rust” director of photography Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed while director Joel Souza, 48, was injured when Baldwin, 63, discharged the prop gun, a statement released Thursday evening by the Santa Fe County sheriff’s office said.

According to NBC News, officials said that Souza was taken to the hospital via an ambulance and received emergency care. Actress Frances Fisher, who is also staring in “Rust,” tweeted that Souza has since been released.

Meanwhile, the sheriff’s office stated that Hutchins was flown to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

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No charges have been made at this time, and the sheriff’s office stated that an investigation is currently underway to determine how the shooting occurred and what type of projectiles were discharged from the prop gun.

Despite the seemingly accidental nature of the shooting, sheriff spokesperson Juan Ríos assured the case wouldn’t be operated any different. “We’re treating this as we would any other investigation.” Baldwin has also been cooperative, going to the sheriff’s office to provide a statement. Photos captured Baldwin outside of the sheriff’s office, with him on the phone while looking disheveled and distressed.

A statement was made by a spokesperson for Baldwin, explaining the accident while also confirming the production for “Rust” has since been halted. The spokesperson assured the safety and wellbeing of every crew member is their “top priority.”

Speaking with NBC News, Hollywood weapons expert Larry Zanoff explained that firearms being used as props on set are only allowed to use blanks – cartridges that don’t have bullets. There is also a 20 feet minimum safety distance from the muzzle, due to possible ember and smoke that can shoot out of the gun.

Baldwin is well known for his work as Jack Donaghy on NBC’s comedy show “30 Rock,” in addition to “Saturday Night Live” – he’s hosted the show a record 17 times, and took up the mantle of portraying Donald Trump, an impression that drew quite a bit of ire from the actual Trump.

In 2019, Baldwin pleaded guilty after being charged with misdemeanor attempted assault and harassment during a parking spot dispute. As part of the plea agreement, Baldwin agreed to take a one-day anger management class.

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Hutchins was born in Ukraine in 1979, then part of the Soviet Union, and grew up as an “army brat” due to living on a military base. As The Guardian explains, Hutchins started her career as a reporter, then experienced a transition into full-time filmmaking a decade ago that stemmed from a love of storytelling.

She’s worked on films such as 2020’s “Archenemy,” and was named a “rising star of cinematography” by American Cinematographer in 2019.

In response to the accident, many are bringing up the death of Brandon Lee. The son of famed martial artist Bruce Lee, Brandon was set to star in the lead role of the movie, “The Crow.” During filming in 1993, Lee, 28 at the time, was fatally shot in the chest by a gun designed to shoot blanks.

Lee’s Twitter account, run by his sister Shannon, commented on the tragedy, expressing sadness while also saying these kinds of gun accidents on sets should never happen in the first place.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on “Rust.” No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

CNN notes that while negligence was determined to be a factor in Lee’s death, no charges were ever brought fourth due to there being no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Baldwin’s case will likely following a similar path, baring a surprising development.

Police Car

Two Killed And One Injured By Gunman At Jacob Blake Protest

Kenosha police are continuing to search for a suspect seen on video armed with a large AK-47-type firearm, after he killed two people and wounded a third late Tuesday evening. The violence broke out during the third night of protests in Kenosha in response to the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot seven times at close range by city police officers. 

As of right now, Blake is alive, but partially paralyzed after the shooting. Directly after the incident videos of Blake getting shot began circulating on social media, sparking even more civil unrest within the Black Lives Matter protests that have been occurring every day nationwide since April. 

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At around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday night, officers responded to reports of shots fired and multiple gunshot victims near 63rd Street and Sheridan Road in Kenosha. When officers arrived they found that two people had been fatally shot and another had been seriously injured. The third victim luckily suffered no life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a relatively quick recovery, according to the Kenosha police department. 

Investigators are still looking into the exact events that transpired Tuesday evening, and are trying to piece together if the shooting was a result of a conflict that broke out between demonstrators and “self-styled militias guarding a gas station.” 

In videos circulating online, a chaotic scene at said gas station is seen unfolding, as a crowd seems to chase away a masked man carrying a large rifle, before another individual knocked him over and took his weapon to avoid any further injuries or potential fatalities. Another video showed a man with a serious arm wound thought to be the third victim who survived the shooting and another video showed a man with severe head injuries being crowded by a group of individuals trying to help him. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers made a call for the protests to remain peaceful on Tuesday.

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“We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue. We also cannot continue to go down this path of damage and destruction.”

Many were quick to point out Evers hypocrisy after he declared a state of emergency and doubled the National Guard presence at the gatherings after making the above statement. Initially, there were 125 guards deployed in Kenosha and on Tuesday there were around 250. The civil unrest has led to 34 fires, and 30 businesses being completely destroyed as a result. 

Police still have said little about what actually happened with Jacob Blake, despite the circulating cell phone video that shows the officer shooting him multiple times while his kids watched from the backseat of his car. Blake’s family and the protesters in Kenosha are calling for the officer who shot Blake to be fired and arrested, and want all other officers present at the scene who did nothing to deescalate the situation to be fired. 

As of right now two Kenosha officers have been placed on administrative leave and are not being identified by the department. The shooting is currently being investigated by the Kenosha County District Attorney, Michael Graveley, and the Wisconsin Justice Department’s division of criminal investigation which will present a formal report of what transpired to Graveley’s office within the next 30 days. 

**UPDATE** 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has been arrested and charged with the fatal Kenosha shooting

Gun

American Firearm Ownership Increases to at Least 423 Million

A recent industry report has revealed the number of firearms that were either imported or produced for private ownership in America between 1986 and 2018 has reached nearly 423 million.

However this is only a conservative estimate as firearms produced before 1986 have not been included while the amount of guns that have been removed from circulation have also not been taken into consideration.

However the report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade group for the firearms industry, has discovered that more than 17.7 million modern sporting rifles – a term meaning any semi-automatic rifle including the AR-15 – were imported or produced between 1990 and 2017.

In a press release relating to the study, President of the foundation Joe Bartozzi commented:

“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes. The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

There have been many calls to place a ban on owning guns as well as stopping the sale of these kinds of “assault weapons,” though it is clear from this report that these kinds of guns are common throughout the United States. Only two years ago, over half of all rifles produced in America were modern sporting rifles.

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Yet the production of domestic weapons has gone up and down dramatically in recent years. Although there was a dip in the amount of firearms being produced in 2010 there has been a constant growth in the production of guns since 2005.

However from 2014 the numbers dropped again, this time by 15 percent, before seeing a small increase over the next few years, before seeing a drop of more than 25 percent in 2017.

The interim estimate for 2018 shows that this drop in production is set to continue, with the industry producing around 7.6 million firearms which is slightly lower than the year before.

Cultural and political events, both big and small, have been a major influence in the way the market fluctuates with the amount of gun sales varying depending not only on the mood of the nation, but also whether the country is in an election year.

A report from the Connecticut Post highlighted the fact that the number of handguns that were sold rose slightly during the period directly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s 2012 shooting, while sales saw a significant increase just before the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 30 percent of American adults now own a gun while 11 percent live in a property where at least one other adult has a firearm. It is also claimed that the biggest group to own guns are white men with nearly 50 percent confirming they own at least one. However only a quarter of non-white men and white women own guns.

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The report could not have come at a better time as Congress has promised to put $25 million towards federal research into the country’s gun violence, the first time that the government has agreed to look in to the problem in over twenty years.

As part of a $1.4 trillion spending spree the research has come at a time when America is still trying to come to terms with the growing number of mass shootings, especially around schools.

The House Appropriations Committee managed to gain the funding and the chair, Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey, confirmed in a statement:

“With this investment, the best public health researchers in the country will be put to work to identify ways to reduce injury and death due to firearms.”

However, although the research funding has been agreed by the House it still needs to be approved by the Senate before finally making its way in front of President Trump to be signed off.

The news has brought praise from many sections of America including the American Public Health Association with executive director Dr. Georges C. Benjamin acknowledging the funding, saying:

“We applaud Congress for finally providing the critical funding we have been requesting. This will support public health research that is essential to answering questions about the best ways to reduce the morbidity and mortality from firearms in the United States.”

Meanwhile Dr. Robert McLean, president of the American College of Physicians has also expressed his delight commenting that “the alarming rate of injuries and deaths related to firearms brings to light the glaring lack of research and data. For over twenty years, we’ve desperately needed up-to-date research about firearm violence and intervention and prevention strategies to reduce physical as well as emotional injuries caused by firearms.”

Football

Sport Teams United In Grief After Shooting

Supporters at a high school football game in New Jersey were forced to run to safety when gunfire broke out.

The match between home team the Pleasantville Greyhounds and the Camden Panthers had attracted a good family crowd when shots were heard at 8:30pm on a friendly Friday evening, an hour outside of Philadelphia.

And while a 27-year-old man was left needing surgery he was confirmed to be in a stable condition. However, the police found a gun in his possession and he now faces weapons charges over the incident.

A 15-year-old boy was also treated in hospital for a graze wound.

Unfortunately 10-year-old Micah Tennant was also caught in the crossfire and sadly passed away from his injuries in hospital just 5 days later.

Police have already arrested and charged five suspects in connection with the shooting with Alvin Wyatts being charged with murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Wyatt’s accomplices – Tyrell Dorn, 28; Vance Golden, 26; Michael Mack, 27 and Shahid Dixon, 27 – have also faced charges of unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a weapon.

Damon G. Tyner, Atlantic County Prosecutor announced:

‘We would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tennant family on the tragic passing of Micah. Words at this time seem so insufficient to portray the anger and outrage that our community feels regarding his loss. However, his spirit will live on in so many people.’

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A ‘devastated’ Gov. Phil Murphy also released a statement announcing:

‘No child deserves to have their promising life cut short, especially by indiscriminate and senseless gun violence. No parent deserves to bury their child. We will hold [Michah’s] memory close, and we will remember his name, as we continue our work to make New Jersey safer for all of our families.’

A Facebook post by the Pleasantville Police Department confirmed they were sending their ‘deepest sympathy’ and ‘strongest possible support’ to Micah’s family.

In response to the postponed game, the neutral ground of The Philadelphia Eagles hosted the suspended playoff match.

And only hours after young Micah lost his life, Lincoln Financial Field Stadium held a moment’s silence in his memory, with both teams locking arms and some athletes wearing the number 10 out of respect on their uniforms.

The stadium’s announcer informed spectators ‘our thoughts are with his family, his loved ones and all impacted by this news. Today, we join Micah’s family and this community to demonstrate that acts of violence do not win’.

The scoreboard then had 4:58 entered to show how much time had been left of the game before it was brutally cut short, a reminder that it does not matter where you are, no venue is safe from gun violence.

A stark difference to the words the young players often hear from their coaches. With sport being used as a tool to keep teens away from gang culture, Camden’s coach Dwayne Savage revealed how ‘we always preach to our guys, that’s our safe haven. We forget about all our problems on the football field.’

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A GoFundMe page was created to raise much needed medical funds for ‘Dew’ as he was affectionately known and has already had over $30,000 donated. However the news of his death has seen money continue to pour in.

CNN affiliate WPVI appears to show the chaos in the aftermath of the shooting, with both athletes and attendees running away from the gunfire. As well as diving under bleachers and hopping over fences, some people were seen lying down on the field.

Sadly with an apparent increase in gun crime this incident is not a rarity and Micah Tennat was not the only casualty of gun violence this week.

In November we have seen two people killed and three injured at a high school in California; four people died and a further six were wounded at a party, also in California while three people – possibly including the gunman – were killed at a Walmart in Oklahoma.

These incidents occurred within 5 days of each other leaving many Americans asking what is being done about gun violence.

So far there has been 370 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is classed as an ‘incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed’.

This is equal to around eight mass shootings per week.

However mass shootings only equate to a small percentage of death by shooting. In 2017 40,000 people died as a result of a shooting incident – including suicide – which works out to an average of 109 per day.

That’s more than four people being killed by guns every hour.