Witness describes bloody scene where suspect in Ronni Chasen slaying took his own life
A resident described a bloody scene when she approached the Hollywood aparment lobby where a suspect in the slaying of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen took his life.
Terri Gilpin, 46, she said stepped out of the elevator on the ground level of the apartment building and saw blood splattered on the floor. Earlier, Gilpin said, she had heard what she thought was a car backfiring.
"I really didn't think anything of it," she said, "because I was kind of drowsy."
Then a neighbor knocked on the door saying someone had been shot and police were in the building.
Gilpin said the entryway had been cordoned off as LAPD officers gathered near the door.
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 in 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 that the man would be in his apartment this evening. The man had been under surveillance for some 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.
-- Abby Sewell in Hollywood and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Police outside the apartment building. Credit: KTLA News