Source: Gun Likely Not Linked to Publicist Death

Monday, 06 Dec 2010 07:44 PM

 

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gun used by a man to kill himself as undercover police tried to talk to him about the slaying of a Hollywood publicist was likely not the same weapon used in the high-profile attack, a law enforcement official said Monday.

The gun used by Harold Martin Smith to commit suicide at a rundown hotel was not a 9-mm weapon, said the official, who was not authorized to speak about the case and requested anonymity.

An initial coroner's report obtained by KTTV stated that publicist Ronni Chasen appeared to have been killed last month with 9-mm hollow point bullets.

The official would not specify what caliber bullets Smith used to shoot himself last week, when Beverly Hills police investigating the death of Chasen went to speak with him.

A final autopsy report on the 64-year-old Chasen has not been released, and Beverly Hills police have said little about the investigation. A message left with a police spokesman was not immediately returned.

Investigators last week called Smith a person of interest but stressed that it was not known if he was connected to the publicist slaying.

Officers approached Smith after someone phoned a tip into the TV show "America's Most Wanted."

One resident of the apartment building from which Smith was being evicted said Smith had bragged about the killing, though others thought he had mental issues and could not have carried out the homicide.

Smith had a lengthy criminal history and carrying a gun could have sent him back in prison.

Investigators believe Chasen was shot as she waited to turn left from Sunset Boulevard to Whittier Drive, a road she could have taken to get back to her home in West Los Angeles.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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