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Ex-LAPD chief Bratton lays out possible scenarios in Ronni Chasen killing

November 18, 2010 |  3:41 pm

ChasenBeverly Hills police released no new information Thursday in the shooting death of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, but some law enforcement officials have offered theories about how detectives are investigating the case.

Former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, who now works in the private security industry, laid out several investigative scenarios in an interview with CBS News.

"The scenarios are, Los Angeles, possible (random) gang drive-by, (but) Beverly Hills, very unlikely. Road rage, very potentially likely in a lot of those incidents in California and Los Angeles," he said. "A crime of passion, somebody who knew her -- they have not determined, to the best of my knowledge, as to whether there was possibly somebody else in the car. Fourth could be the idea of an unintended consequence, that she was killed and they were looking for somebody else."

Beverly Hills detectives investigating the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen believe she was shot moments before her car crashed off Sunset Boulevard early Tuesday.

Beverly Hills detectives are focusing on forensic evidence gathered from the spot where Chasen was found shot several times in her Mercedes coupe. Residents who heard the crash found Chasen slumped over the steering wheel, bleeding. The passenger-side window of her car was shattered.

Beverly Hills Police Sgt. Lincoln Hoshino said that although investigators are still not sure exactly where the shooting occurred, their working theory is that it happened before the crash. Police are also trying to determine whether the shattered window was caused by gunshots or by some other type of force.

One person who lives next to where Chasen’s car came to rest said she heard several shots, followed moments later by what she believed was the sound of a car crashing.

Calling the investigation “wide open,” detectives are also seeking video surveillance footage from businesses and residents along Sunset Boulevard, hoping it might shed clues on what happened. Chasen had attended an after-party for the premiere of the movie “Burlesque” at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

She is believed to have left the event for home about midnight, traveling west on Sunset Boulevard. Friends believe that she had planned to head south to her condominium on Wilshire Boulevard near the grounds of the Los Angeles Country Club.

The six-mile drive would have taken Chasen along Sunset Strip, an area stocked with potential surveillance video as well as mansions with sophisticated security systems that include surveillance cameras that could allow investigators to pick up crucial clues.

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--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Getty Images

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