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Brandon Lee’s family speak out after fatal prop gun shooting on set


By Toyin Owoseje, CNN

The family of late actor Brandon Lee has spoken out following the news that cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza injured after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust.”

According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Hutchins, 42, was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday. Souza, 48, was taken to Christus St. Vincent’s Regional Medical Center for care.

Lee, who was the son of martial-arts icon Bruce Lee, died age 28 in March 1993, while filming “The Crow” in North Carolina.

His name began trending on Twitter after members of the online community noted the similarities in the circumstances surrounding his death and that of Hutchins.

In a post on Lee’s official Twitter page, his relatives expressed their condolences to Hutchins’ family and insisted that such tragedies should never happen.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and to Joel Souza and all involved in the incident on Rust,” read the message from the account, which is run by his sister, Shannon Lee.

“No one should ever be killed by a gun on a film set. Period.”

The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that the actor, who was on the cusp of movie stardom with his leading role in the surreal thriller, was fatally killed by a .44-caliber bullet when co-star Michael Massee fired a prop gun that he believed to be loaded with blanks.

Following an investigation, District Attorney Jerry Spivey announced that no criminal charges would be filed over Lee’s death, saying that while negligence was a factor, there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the New York Times reported in September 1993.

Lee’s mother, Linda Lee Cadwell, filed a civil suit against the studio for negligence, which was eventually settled out of court, the Los Angeles Times reported the following month.

In 2005, Massee, who died in 2016 aged 64, said he had been left traumatized by the tragedy.

“What happened to Brandon was a tragic accident. It’s something I’m going to live with … It took me the time it took to be able to not so much put it in perspective but to be able to move on with my life,” he told Extra TV.

“It’s very personal. It’s something that I wanna make sure when I work that it’s never repeated. Therefore, I’m very conscious of things going awry on set.”

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