Ronni Chasen slaying: Beverly Hills police want testing of gun used in suicide
The Beverly Hills Police Department has requested that officials test a gun that a man used to kill himself at a Hollywood hotel to determine whether it has any link to the slaying of entertainment industry publicist Ronni Chasen.
Harold Smith took his own life last week when Beverly Hills police came to his hotel to talk to him about the Chasen slaying. Police had been tipped by the television show "America's Most Wanted." Officials said they are not sure if Smith was involved in the killing.
"Beverly Hills Police detectives requested the release of the weapon used in the commission of this suicide to be turned over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Scientific Services Bureau/Firearms Section. This request was granted and a ballistic comparison will be conducted with the evidence recovered from the Chasen homicide investigation," according to a statement from the department.
Chasen was shot to death last month 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.
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 Sunset. 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.
-- Andrew Blankstein