Ronni Chasen slaying: Witness describes shots, bloody scene
A neighbor who lives near where Ronni Chasen crashed after being fatally shot in Beverly Hills said she heard gunshots and ran outside to find the veteran Hollywood publicist bleeding profusely, with her car window shattered.
The quiet neighborhood, once home to Julie Andrews, is one of stately multimillion-dollar homes and gated estates on tree-lined streets that wind between Sunset and Wilshire boulevards. Whittier is often used as a cut-through route, and neighbors say automobile accidents are fairly common.
But this situation was different.
Nahid Shekarchian, a 33-year resident of the neighborhood who lives just south of the house where Chasen's car crashed, said sometime after midnight she heard gunshots --"boom-boom-boom" -- and opened the curtain of her upstairs bedroom. She told her daughter-in-law to call 911 and went outside to see what had happened.
Shekarchian said the woman in the car was bleeding profusely from her nose and had blood on her chest. The window on the passenger side of the front seat had been shattered. Another neighbor walked to the car window and asked: "Can I help you?" Shekarchian said the driver "was breathing very heavily" and did not respond.
Shekarchian said the police told her that whoever shot Chasen might have been walking rather than in another vehicle. But Shekarchian said she saw no one in the vicinity.
"Oh, my God. Oh, my God," she said after learning that Chasen had died.
Chasen had just attended the premiere of "Burlesque" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre as well as a party after the screening, sources told The Times. Authorities said she was shot multiple times in the chest in her Mercedes-Benz E-350 and crashed into a light pole at Whittier Drive, near Sunset Boulevard, at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. No suspects have been arrested.
-- Martha Groves in Beverly Hills
Photo: Getty Images