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Ronni Chasen slaying: Police believe publicist was shot from another vehicle, perhaps an SUV

November 18, 2010 | 11:16 pm


Detectives investigating the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen have surmised from evidence that she was probably shot from another vehicle, perhaps an SUV, the mayor of Beverly Hills said Thursday night.

Mayor Jimmy Delshad told The Times that, although many questions remain unanswered, police believe Chasen's assailant fired into her passenger-side window from another vehicle and not from the street or a sidewalk.

"Indications are [the shots] could have come from another car, higher up, maybe an SUV," Delshad said.

Chasen was shot to death early Tuesday while driving her Mercedes-Benz near the intersection of Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard 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.

Lt. Tony Lee of the Beverly Hills Police Department said Thursday that officials have not concluded whether Chasen was shot at the intersection or closer to where her car crashed into a light pole near Whittier and Greenway Drive.

Delshad said police found some pieces of glass--possibly from Chasen's car window--near the intersection of Whittier and Sunset, but they found no bullet casings. He added that Beverly Hills police were working on the case 24 hours a day.

He said police have been interviewing witnesses, analyzing computer and phone logs and examining video from surveillance cameras along the route.

"We're working very hard on it," he said.

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.

Residents who heard the crash found Chasen slumped over the steering wheel, bleeding. The passenger-side window of her car was shattered. One person who lives next to where Chasen's car came to a stop said she heard several shots, followed moments later by what she believed was the sound of a car crashing.

Police said they have no motive for the attack and no suspects.


Former LAPD Chief Bratton offers scenarios in Ronni Chasen case

Detectives hope 911 calls reporting gunshots will help in Ronni Chasen slaying

--Martha Groves

Photo: Crime scene the morning of the shooting. Credit: L.A. Times