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Suspect in Ronni Chasen slaying had been under police surveillance before he killed himself [Updated]

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f5e7b3f7970b-800wiA man described as a suspect in the slaying of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself at a Hollywood apartment house Wednesday evening as Beverly Hills police were serving a search warrant there, sources told The Times.

The shooting occurred around 6 p.m. at the Harvey apartments on Santa Monica Boulevard, where detectives believed the suspect lived, according to four law enforcement sources.

The man's exact connection to the slaying was not immediately clear, but the sources said detectives believe he was involved the killing of Chasen, who was found shot multiple times in her Mercedes coupe on a Beverly Hills street.

The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because it was ongoing investigation, said detectives received information suggesting the man would be in his apartment this evening. The man had been under surveillance for some period of time, they said.

When police approached the man at the lobby of the apartment complex, he backed up and refused their orders to raise his hands. He then pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head, the sources said. He was declared dead at at the scene.

[Updated, 8:44 p.m.: The Beverly Hills Police Department issued a statement saying its officers were at the apartment when the shooting occurred but declined to provide further details. "At the time of the shooting, BHPD Detectives were on scene conducting a follow-up investigation. There were no other injuries related to the incident. Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, there are no further details available at this time"]

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. 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 vehicle crashing. 


Witnesses describe bloody scene where Ronni Chasen suspect died

Ronnie Chasen slaying suspect takes own life

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Hollywood publicist Ronnie Chasen. Credit: Los Angeles Times 

Comments () | Archives (38)

Holy toledo!

Would have been nice if he had lived to tell the tale. Instead, it will left to the cops and the public to try and put the pieces in these strange puzzle together. Bummer.

The Harvey Apartments are a dump. Everyone inside has some kind of outstanding warrant and is wanted for something. It could be death by mistaken suicide. He thought they wanted him for some other murder that he did.

Well, if true, so much for my road rage theory(or those who thought the same).

If this was indeed Ronni's killer, there is some kind of ironic justice that he shot and killed himself - if there can indeed be any justice in the case of such a horrible needless taking of an innocent human life. If Ronni did think she was being folowed for quite sometime before this incident, and had expressed to friends that she was "afraid", I wish she would have avoided traveling alone and avoided such areas anywhere that are so dark and virtually deserted at that time of night. Such a needless tragedy. I only hope that any other people involved, if any, are apprehended punished accordingly.

This is turning Ellroy-esque,

This case gets stranger by the minute. In whose interest, and for what purpose would the suicide victim have wanted Chasen dead?

like a James Elroy novel


But somewhat reassuring to the community that progress is being made in the investigation. Anxiously awaiting more information.

I don't live in the LA area, but as an outsider it seems the cops are spending A TON of time on this case. Especially compared to the prostitute murders for which that serial killer was recently apprehended. I'm glad I'm not Black and poor in LA.

maybe - it was just the hit man. (considering the apartments)

This is so sad story. Our modern society is so sick beyond redemption! Evil is rampant! Murder, assault with deadly weapon, armed robbery, burglary, vehicle theft, sexual assault, rape, drug abuse, DUI, and the list goes on. Satan is working overtime 24/7. America needs to repent and turn away from their evil ways. America needs peace, love of thy neighbor, joy and righteousness
in God.

How's that for an Act I climax?

"I wish she would have avoided traveling alone and avoided such areas anywhere that are so dark and virtually deserted at that time of night." You've got to be kidding. Sunset & Benedict Canyon? Midnight? Middle of the week? This whole thing is beyond strange. However, she was hardly driving through the ghetto.

Where are the neighbors? Is he white, black, mexican...jewish
In other words does he look like he could be connected to her

Some days it must suck to be a cop. "Hey pal, we have a few ques... JESUS CHRIST!"

I bet there was some footage of the car that the shooter was in, maybe they could see plates, etc. and that was how they got to this guy and he was the hit man. but whoever hired him is still a total mystery. and super scary if the man killed himself out of fear of the power of who hired him. but really, I could see a hit man being suicidal under a lot of circumstances, - if he's not a psychopath any killer's gotta be living in some state of self loathing and fear of exposure.


That's because this happened in Beverly Hills which has it's own police department and is a low-crime area. The BHPD have a lot more time on their hands.

Maybe the bullets will match up. It's a longshot but let's hope so. Yes, this would be great fodder for an Elroy novel.

Wow nice job BHPD!!! Way to find the shooter.

This is a tale that could have been written by Joseph Wambaugh.

But sadly, it's "real life".

God Bless Ronni. And God, do as you see best with whoever her murderer may be.


LA Cops do this to innocent people all the time; any video since they were watching him for a long time?

Many years ago, when I was in college back east, a professor told the class that after graduation, if they wanted excitement in their lives, they should consider moving to L.A. because "no matter what kind of personal behavior your mind can conceive of, somebody in L.A. is doing it." I've been living in the L.A. area now for decades, but I never realized that his prophesy would be happening 24/7.

just as i figured. the lapd knew who it was all along but they kept telling the media and the public that they had no leads.

Well, looks like the cops may have their murder weapon; although if she was shot with hollow-points, I imagine ballistics could be a little trickier.

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