The Boys, The Rookie Ban Live Guns After Alec Baldwin's Fatal Rust On-Set Shooting Incident
Showrunners on ABC's police drama The Rookie and Amazon Prime Video's gritty superhero show The Boys have banned the use of "live" guns on their sets. The changes come in response to the prop gun misfire that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and injured director Joel Souza.
Effective immediately, The Rookie showrunner Alexi Hawley outlined the new policy in a memo to the show's staff, first reported by The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by PEOPLE. Although the show has used "live" weapons on occasion for "big, outside set pieces," they will now only use "Air Soft guns with CG muzzle flashes added in post."
Airsoft guns look almost identical to real guns, but they use plastic pellets instead of bullets and produce less energy than a real gun.
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"The tragic events in New Mexico yesterday have shaken us all, and our hearts go out to the friends and family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza," Hawley reportedly wrote in the memo. "There will be no more 'live' weapons on the show. The safety of our cast and crew is too important. Any risk is too much risk."
The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke also took the initiative on his show. "Someone hurt or killed on my set is my worst nightmare," he wrote Friday on Twitter. "Sending love to Halyna Hutchins' family, @JensenAckles, cast & crew of 'Rust.' I'm so sorry. In her memory, a simple, easy pledge: no more guns with blanks on any of my sets ever. We'll use VFX muzzle flashes. Who's with me?"
After PEOPLE confirmed that one crew member died and another was critically injured Thursday on the Santa Fe, New Mexico set of Rust, the Santa Fe Sheriff's Department said in a statement that Hutchins, 42, and Souza, 48, were "shot when a prop firearm was discharged" by Baldwin, 63.
Authorities responded to a 911 call from the set at Bonanza Creek Ranch at around 1:50 p.m. local time. Halyna was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital where she died of her injuries. Souza was released Friday from Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he underwent treatment for his injuries.
The local prop master's union has said that the gun Baldwin fired contained "a live round," according to an email viewed by IndieWire, though authorities have not confirmed. So far, no charges have been filed and an investigation remains ongoing.
The shooting has since prompted a Change.org petition, urging Hollywood to ban the use of real firearms on sets.
"There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours," Baldwin wrote in a statement on Twitter on Friday.
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"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family," he continued. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."
A source also told PEOPLE that "Alec is still trying to get his head around everything that happened. This has been devastating. It's been incredibly difficult."