Ronni Chasen slaying: New details, still no motive in shooting of Hollywood publicist
New details emerged in the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, but police detectives still have no motive or suspects in the Tuesday morning shooting attack.
Detectives now believe Chasen was killed in a car-to-car shooting, with the assailant firing into the passenger-side window of her Mercedes coupe. Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad told The Times that detectives believe a vehicle taller than Chasen's car, perhaps a sport utility vehicle, was involved.
"Indications are [the shots] could have come from another car, higher up, maybe an SUV," said Delshad, adding that it does not appear at this point that the assailant fired while standing in the street.
Delshad and other Beverly Hills officials expressed shock over the shooting, saying the city has not seen anything like it in years.
Councilman John Mirisch said residents are horrified by the ruthlessness of the crime. “We hope the police can bring whoever committed this awful crime to justice,” Mirisch said. “It’s clearly their top priority.”
Delshad said police found some pieces of glass -- possibly from Chasen's car window -- near the intersection of Whittier and Sunset Boulevard, but they found no bullet casings. He added that Beverly Hills police were working on the case 24 hours a day.
Chasen was shot to death early Tuesday while driving her Mercedes-Benz near the intersection of Whittier and Sunset in Beverly Hills. She was on her way home from a movie premiere after-party.
She is believed to have left the event about midnight, traveling west on Sunset. Friends believe she had planned to head south to her condominium on Wilshire Boulevard near the grounds of the Los Angeles Country Club.
Several residents dialed 911 at the time of the attack. The first call, from a person who lives near Sunset and Benedict Canyon Drive, reported a gunshot.
Moments later, more 911 calls came in reporting shots heard several blocks to the west, near Whittier and Wilshire. Another resident called 911 to report hearing the car crash into the light pole.
-- Martha Groves, Andrew Blankstein and Sam Allen