Images of a distraught Alec Baldwin, who tragically killed a cinematographer with a movie prop gun, evoked memories of an actor who remained haunted after he shot Brandon Lee down with a weapon he believed laden with whites.
Lee, the 28-year-old son of martial arts icon and legendary movie star Bruce Lee, was killed in a freak accident on the set of “The Crow” on March 30, 1993, when his colleague Michael Massee was supposed to him. to shoot on. at close range with a harmless pistol.
But when Massee fired the .44 Magnum revolver, the gunpowder in the blank cartridge ignited a bullet fragment that embedded in the barrel, propelling it into Lee’s body about 15 feet away. Carolco studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, reported The Sun.
The fragment was apparently part of a dummy hull that got lodged in the barrel, in what is called a “firecracker charge”, in a previous scene without anyone noticing. He hit Lee with almost the same force as a live bullet.
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The actor died on an operating table after six hours of emergency surgery, leaving Massee devastated and prompting him to take a long sabbatical, The New York Times reported in a 2016 article on the death of the actor. character actor of stomach cancer at the age of 64.
“What happened to Brandon was a tragic accident. It’s something I’m going to live with… It took me the time it took not to put things in perspective so much but to be able to move forward in my life. life. ”he told Extra TV in 2005, according to CNN.
“It’s very personal. It’s something I want to make sure when I work that it never repeats itself. Therefore, I’m very aware that things are going wrong on set,” he said. added.
The actor played the role of a drug-obsessed thug in “The Crow,” which starred Lee as a rock musician who had returned from the dead in revenge for the gangsters who murdered him. and his fiancee.
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After an extended hiatus, Massee returned to the theater and played a terrorist in the hit Fox series “24” and a Satanist murderer in the NBC miniseries “Revelations” in 2005.
After an investigation, District Attorney Jerry Spivey said no criminal charges would be laid for Lee’s death because, although negligence was a factor, there was no evidence of wrongdoing, reported the Times in 1993.
A negligence lawsuit filed by Lee’s mother Linda Lee Cadwell against the studio was ultimately settled out of court, the LA Times reported that year.
On Thursday, a union that represents prop masters said in an email seen by Indie Wire that the propeller pistol used by Baldwin contained a live cartridge.
After the tragic shooting, the devastated actor is said to have asked again and again why he was given a “hot gun” that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, dead and director Joel Souza, 48, injured on the shooting of the next western “Rust”.
“In all my years, I have never been given a hot gun,” the actor reportedly continued to say.
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A witness said Baldwin was in shock after the ordeal and “had no idea how much they had been hurt or Halyna was dead”.
Hutchins was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where she died of her injuries. Souza was reportedly released from a hospital.
“Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was fired,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
No charges were filed Thursday evening and detectives are still questioning witnesses.
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