‘Surreal grief.’ Lexington native, actor on ‘Rust’ set reacts after shooting death

·2 min read

A Lexington-born actor who was on the set of “Rust” said there was “so much hurtful, blind speculation and misinformation circulating” after one person was reportedly killed and another injured after a prop gun was fired at the set.

The prop gun was fired by star actor and director Alec Baldwin who believed the gun was safe to handle, according to multiple reports. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza was injured when the gun fired. Lexington native Josh Hopkins was part of the cast and crew on the movie.

“As you might imagine, the entire cast and crew are in a state of absolute surreal grief and shock and I want to thank everyone who has reached out with such beautiful support and love,” Hopkins said in an Instagram post.

Hopkins also asked that people wait for the results of investigations “so we can avoid repeating a tragedy like this ever again.”

Lexington’s Josh Hopkins plays a rogue cop in “Crown Vic,” a new movie produced by Alec Baldwin.
Lexington’s Josh Hopkins plays a rogue cop in “Crown Vic,” a new movie produced by Alec Baldwin.

Since the shooting, reports have surfaced about crew members who expressed concerns about gun safety earlier in the movie’s production. A report from the Los Angeles Times indicated crew members walked off the set hours before the shooting due to safety frustrations.

A law enforcement investigation into the shooting was ongoing, according to Variety. Alec Baldwin previously said on Twitter he was fully cooperating with the investigation.

Rust Movie Productions also said it was conducting an internal review about weapon safety concerns, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Hopkins, the Kentucky native, has appeared and starred in movies and TV shows since the late 1990s. He starred in “Swingtown” on CBS in 2008, and guest starred in “Bones” on Fox in 2005. He had recently been part of the main cast in “Whiskey Cavalier,” an ABC TV series from 2019. He was also in “Quantico,” another ABC series which aired from 2015 to 2016.

Hopkins asked people to keep Hutchins’ husband and son in their thoughts. He also shared a GoFundMe page for the family.

“Rust” was announced in May 2020, according to Deadline. It’s expected to be a movie about a teenage boy who was on the run with his estranged grandfather after he was sentenced to hanging for the accidental killing of a local rancher, according to the movie’s IMDb page.

The movie’s production was reportedly suspended indefinitely as a result of the shooting.

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