Police now believe Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen died in “a robbery gone bad” carried out by Harold Martin Smith, the ex-con who shot himself dead himself last week as officers approached for questioning.
Speaking at a press conference outside the Beverly Hills Police Department headquarters today , investigating officers said preliminary lab reports indicated that the gun Smith used to take his own life on December 1 matched Chasen’s bullet wounds.
Officers believe Smith acted alone and added that there was not as far as they knew any connection between the man and Chasen.
“This was a random act of violence,” Sgt Mike Publicker said. “Given Mr Smth’s background we believe it was most likely a robbery gone bad.” He added later: “”We do not believe he was a paid hitman.”
Police believe Smith rode up to Chasen on a bicycle as she waited in her Mercedes to make a left turn off Sunset Boulevard on to Whittier Avenue in the early hours on November 16. The bicycle is in the custory of the Los Angeles Police Department.
An anonymous tipster had contacted the television show America’s Most Wanted with information that police described as “crucial” to the case.