US actor Alec Baldwin said the shocking death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed when he fired a prop gun on set, was a “one in a trillion episode,” footage aired by TMZ showed Saturday.
Baldwin and his wife Hilaria spoke to reporters who intercepted them in Manchester, Vermont on Saturday, in his first on-camera comments since Hutchins died after the shooting on the set of the 19th-century Western “Rust” on October 21.
He has previously tweeted to express his grief over the tragedy, and said he is cooperating with police investigating the killing.
“She was my family,” he told the reporters in the footage.
“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode.”
Calls have grown since the incident for better control of weapons on Hollywood sets, and Baldwin said the effort was “something I am extremely interested in.”
But he could not say whether he would ever work with firearms on a set again.
He also said that production on “Rust,” which was suspended immediately after the killing, would not resume.
Baldwin, who was a producer as well as the lead actor in the film, fired a live round from a Colt .45 during a rehearsal on the set of “Rust.”
The round passed through Hutchins’ body and struck director Joel Souza in the shoulder. She died, while he was treated in hospital for the injury and released.
Baldwin, who had been told by the film’s assistant director that the gun was “cold” — meaning it did not have a live round in the chamber — said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
The film’s armorer said in a statement on Friday that she had “no idea” where the live rounds came from.
She spoke after days of reports suggesting safety lapses on set.
Baldwin said that the day he arrived in Santa Fe he had taken Hutchins and Souza to dinner.
“We were a very, very … well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened,” he said.
And he described meeting Hutchins’ wife and son, saying they were “overwhelmed with grief.”