The fatal shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust has motivated Eliza Hutton, fiancée of the late Brandon Lee, to speak out for the first time about his on-set death and this “avoidable tragedy.”
In 1993, Brandon — the 28-year-old son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee — died after being shot with a prop gun that was supposed to fire blank cartridges on the set of The Crow. The tip of a .44-caliber bullet was lodged in the gun’s barrel and when the blank was fired, it was expelled. The bullet hit Brandon’s abdomen, damaged several organs and lodged near his spine. He died on March 31, 1993.
“Twenty-eight years ago, I was shattered by the shock and grief of losing the love of my life, Brandon Lee, so senselessly,” Hutton said in a statement to People. “My heart aches again now for Halyna Hutchins’s husband and son, and for all those left in the wake of this avoidable tragedy.”
Hutton went on to “urge those in positions to make change to consider alternatives to real guns on sets.”
On her private Instagram account, Hutton also shared a photo of herself with Brandon celebrating their engagement in October 1992.
“There’s no such thing as a prop gun,” she captioned it.
Brandon and Hutton met in 1990, moved in together in 1991 and he proposed the following year. Their wedding was supposed to take place on April 17, 1993 — a week after he was expected to wrap The Crow.
Following the news Hutchins, Rust‘s director of photography, was killed and director Joel Souza injured when Baldwin was practicing drawing and pointing the gun when it discharged, Brandon’s name was trending. His family issued a statement on Twitter making it clear that these types of tragedies shouldn’t happen.
Brandon’s sister, Shannon Lee, has also spoken out about her brother’s senseless death — and the need for change.
“I know that the Hollywood community came together and a lot of people, individually and within the industry, had heightened awareness around how firearms were used and the safety involved,” she said on Tuesday’s Dr. Oz Show. “But I don’t know that any actual rules or regulations were actually changed. I really think that those changes need to be made now. This should never, ever happen. I’ve had 28 years to process my grief and I feel so much more ready now to try and be a voice for change than I was back then.”
A petition — calling to “ban the use of real firearms on set and demand better crew working conditions” — has more than 48,000 signatures on Change.org. It has celebrity support, including from actor-director Olivia Wilde.
Baldwin broke his silence on Friday, writing, “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. 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. My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.”
The investigation into the shooting on Rust continues. The production has been halted as the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office pieces together what happened on the set. There will be a news conference Wednesday with updates.