By Daniel Miller
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) Police investigating the
killing of Ronni Chasen have assembled a working theory of what
happened to the veteran Hollywood publicist.
They believe the Beverly Hills attack on Tuesday was
planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a
carjacking gone awry, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
According to a Beverly Hills city official who was briefed
by Police Chief David Snowden, the department's working theory
centers on shots being fired out of another vehicle that pulled
up next to the passenger side of Chasen's Mercedes-Benz around
12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
It is believed the shooting occurred either as Chasen made
a left turn from Sunset Boulevard onto Whittier Drive, or just
after the turn was made.
Her black E350 coupe traveled southward on Whittier until
it crashed into a light pole at Greenway Drive, deploying the
driver side airbag. It is believed the shots shattered the
passenger side window.
Despite suspicion that the late-night shooting was planned,
it remains unclear whether Chasen was personally targeted in
the incident or why she might have been the target.
The city official also said police have obtained relevant
footage from one or perhaps multiple security cameras located
at a residence on Whittier, just down the street from the
intersection of Whittier and Greenway.
Sources tell THR that the property is the home of Sherry
Hackett, widow of the late comedian and actor Buddy Hackett. A
woman who answered the door at the Whittier residence Thursday
identified herself as an assistant to Hackett and said she knew
nothing of the incident but that Hackett slept through
Hackett was not at the house Thursday.
The Beverly Hills Police Department is actively seeking
additional footage captured by security cameras at other homes
in the area. The red-light camera at the intersection of Sunset
and Whittier did not capture images of the incident, the source
Chasen, 64, was killed after leaving an after-party in
Hollywood for the "Burlesque" premiere Monday. A BHPD
spokesperson said earlier this week that officers received
information at 12:28 a.m. Tuesday regarding shots heard in the
area, which is filled with multimillion-dollar mansions and is
home to many Hollywood luminaries.
Chasen suffered five gunshot wounds to her chest. Beverly
Hills paramedics transported her to a local hospital where she
was later pronounced dead. Police have revealed no suspects in
Chasen reportedly left a routine voicemail for her staff at
her namesake publicity company, Chasen & Co., shortly before
the incident. It is believed she was driving home.
The BHPD did not return calls seeking comment.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)
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