Brandon Lee’s family speaks out in wake of Alec Baldwin incident

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(WTVO) – Thursday’s tragic accident, in which actor Alec Baldwin inadvertently fired a prop gun with blanks on the set of his new Western, killing one of the film’s crew members and injuring another, has many comparing it to actor Brandon Lee’s on set death in 1993.

Lee, the son of Kung Fu icon Bruce Lee, who was on the verge of Hollywood stardom, was shot by co-star Michael Massee on the set of “The Crow” in North Carolina. It happened when Massee fired a prop gun with a bullet fragment still inside.

Massee, who died in 2016 at the age of 64, stated in 2005 that the tragedy had left him traumatized.

CNN reported that Lee’s family spoke out to call for changes to firearms usage on film sets, saying in a Tweet on the late actor’s page run by his sister:


In the 1993 incident, no charges were filed after an investigation failed to find evidence of criminal intent. Lee’s mother filed a civil suit, which was later settled out of court, according to a Los Angeles Times report that year.

Thursday’s incident, which occurred in New Mexico, claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. It remains under investigation.

“This investigation remains open and active,” Santa Fe County Sheriff’s spokesperson Juan Rios said in a statement. “No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives.”

Baldwin had appeared distraught outside the sheriff’s office after the shooting, images showed. It is still unclear how many rounds were fired, and if Baldwin was performing at the time. In addition to appearing in “Rust,” he’s also listed as a producer, according to his Internet Movie Database page.

Prop guns fire blank, gunpowder charges that produce a flash and a bang but not a hard projectile. But when the trigger is pulled, the paper or plastic wadding is ejected from the barrel with enough force that it can be lethal at close range.

In the aftermath of Thursday’s fatal shooting, production has been halted on “Rust.” The movie is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880s’ Kansas, according to IMDb. The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather, played by Baldwin, after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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