How Did Brandon Lee Die?

Brandon Bruce Lee who was a famous American actor and martial artist was born on February 1st 1965. His father was  Bruce Lee , a famous martial arts film star, and the grandson of Lee Hoi-Chuen, a Cantonese opera singer.

What Killed Brandon Lee?

On 31 March 1993, Lee was the vixtim of an accident with a gun on the set of The Crow and then died of a deep wound in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In the scene where Lee was unexpectedly shot, Lee’s character enters his house and discovers his fiancee being raped and beaten by some thugs. When Lee walks into the room, an actor Michael Massee’s character fires a .44 Magnum revolver at him.

The Scene

A previous scene making use of the same gun had required the insertion of dummy cartridges equipped with bullets ( but no percussion primer or powder ) to be loaded inside the revolver for a close-up scene, regarding film scenes which use a revolver ( where the bullets are seen from the front ) and don’t require  the gun to really be fired, dummy cartridges supply the practical appearance of real rounds. Instead of buying commercial dummy cartridges, the film’s prop crew decided to create their own by pulling all bullets from live rounds, and dumping the powder, then reinserting the bullets. Nevertheless, they unknowingly or unintentionally placed the live round in position behind the cartridge. At some time during filming the revolver was evidently discharged with one of these incorrectly – inactivated cartridges in the chamber, leaving the primer with sufficient force to drive the bullet partway into the right barrel, where it got stuck ( a condition called a squib load ). The prop crew both failed to notice and failed to recognize the importance of this issue.

Fatal Error

In the lethal scene, which required the revolver to really be fired at Lee from a distance of around 12 – 15 feet, the dummy cartridges were replaced with blank rounds, which actually feature a live powder charge and primer as well, but no bullet, so allowing the gun to be fired without the danger of an actual projectile. However, since the bullet from the dummy round was previously stuck in the barrel, this triggered the lethal  bullet to be fired outside the barrel with nearly the same force as though the gun had been loaded with a live round previously, and it struck Lee in the abdomen as well, mortally wounding him. After that, he went through 6 hours of surgery at a hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina. Although the doctors attempted to save his life, their attempts were unsuccessful. He died at 1:03 pm EST on 31 March 1993, at the age of 28. His death was caused by a gunshot wound. The policemen used the video footage as evidence in the investigation, however it was destroyed to settle the lawsuit.

His body was rushed to Jacksonville, North Carolina, in order to perform an autopsy. Then, he was flown to a cemetery in Seattle, Washington, to be buried next to his father. On 3 April 1993, his private funeral was held in Seattle. There were only close family and friends attending, including Lee’s immediate family, the fiancee Eliza Hutton’s parents, and younger sister as well, who flew in from Missouri. A day later, there were 250 of Lee’s family, friends and business associates in a memorial service at the house of actress Polly Bergen, in Los Angeles.

To tribute to Lee and Hutton, a sculptor Kirk McLean in North Snohomish County designed the gravestone. Its two twisting rectangles are charcoal granite joining at the bottom and pulling apart the top.