Los Angeles police say a man believed to be connected to the slaying of publicist Ronni Chasen shot himself to death at a Hollywood hotel as Beverly Hills police served a search warrant. Well not exactly a “Hollywood Hotel” as most of us “assume” that are not in Hollyweird. It was actually a Hollywood apartment building called the Harvey Apartments at 5600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, near Western Avenue The Harvey Apartments are home to a diverse mix of tenants who pay month-to-month rents. The man moved into the building some months ago but was evicted per Brandon Harrison who spoke to multiple media outlets last night.
Then we have the dueling banjos explanation that goes from a “suspect” to only “a person of interest”.
Here are the facts as reported by multiple news outlets working the crowd and alleged “inside sources”.
The man — who apparently went by the first name Harold — was described as a tall, thin black man in his 40s. Neighbors giving news interviews on camera described “Harold” as being “very strange”, Neighbors described him as unusual, perhaps mentally unstable. Harold owned a bicycle that he kept with him including keeping it in his apartment and talked about it when he engaged in small talk with neighbors. Harold described himself to other residents as an ex-convict who served two stints in state prison, the most recent for weapons and drug convictions. Harold said he would never go back to prison, according to neighbor Brandon Harrison “He told me several times, `If it ever came back down to me going to prison, I would die first,’ ‘ Harold also bragged all the time that he was the one who killed the publicist, and he was always talking about how he was going to get paid $10,000 for it.” However Harold also said he was supposed to be getting $10,000, either for a job he did or from a lawsuit. Another neighbor, Terri Gilpin, told KTLA News that on several occasions, Harold said he had a gun and threatened to use it. “He would talk crazy stuff. He kept always bragging about having a gun.”.
Ok we have a “Harold” who had been evicted from the apartments, owned a bicycle which he loved so much that he kept it in his apartment and talked about it when he engaged in small talk with neighbors. He was very strange and even the neighbors thought he was so unusual that he might be “mentally unstable”. Yea this sounds like a guy who could ride his bicycle fast enough to catch up with a Mercedes and shoot so well as to leave a clean crime scene and get away on his bicycle fast enough not to be caught. UPDATE: “Harold walked with a “shuffle” so he could not have even ran from the murder scene, can we say RED HERRING. Does the police feel a tad stupid today?
Inside sources, up to four of them none of which were named, told media that; “The man had been under surveillance for some time and when police officers approached him in the lobby of the apartment building, he backed up and refused their orders to raise his hands then he pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head, the sources said. He died at the scene. Police investigating the suspect’s suicide collected a bicycle from the dead man’s apartment as evidence. Police did not reveal what they think his role in the murder was, whether he was the trigger man or an accomplice. Cough Cough, really????
LAPD spokeswoman Mitzi Grasso says the officers were serving the warrant at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when the man shot himself. The man’s name wasn’t released, and his exact connection to the Chasen killing wasn’t immediately known. Beverly Hills police told The Associated Press that the man “was a person of interest only.” Authorities will also be taking a look into whether the man was mentally ill, heard about the Chasen murder and decided to take credit for it. The Beverly Hills Police Department put out a statement Wednesday after the suicide shooting saying, “At approximately 6 p.m. on 12-01-10, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call of `Shots Fired’ in the 5600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. When they arrived, a male subject had sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “He was later pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of the shooting, Beverly Hills Police Department detectives were on scene conducting a follow-up investigation. “There were no other injuries related to the incidents. Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, there are no further details available at this time.” “They attempted to talk to the suspect. When they did, the suspect produced a handgun and there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said LAPD Capt. Kevin McClure. The man was declared dead at the scene. Investigators will be taking a good look at the weapon the man used to kill himself. Forensics experts will likely be checking if the weapon matches the one used in the Chasen murder.
Well there is our answer!
A leaked coroner’s report raised more questions, including whether the gunman was a hired killer. News media got a look at a copy of the initial coroner’s report, which said one bullet was recovered from her back while at the hospital and is possibly a 9mm hollow-point. Chasen received three apparent wounds to the right-side breast/chest area and two apparent gunshot wounds to the right shoulder. The report has now been put under a security hold. You think????
Detectives suspect the gunfire came from an SUV or a truck pulling alongside her car, and say it appears the shooter was an expert marksman.
“Normally they turn that gun sideways and this is something that’s done with some skill,” said former L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. homicide detective Gil Carrillo. “I’ll be honest with you: I’ve carried a gun for 38 years and had to qualify quarterly. I don’t know that I could shoot and hit that mass like that.” Carrillo was a homicide detective for more than 20 years in Los Angeles. “My gut tells me that somebody contracted someone else to kill the victim,” Carrillo said.
Detectives have previously stated they believe the incident was not a random act of violence. Here’s a clip from an email Deadline obtained:
“My police source stated that it’s not clear that Chasen knew her shooter, only that she ‘may have known her shooter.’ Deadline goes on to say that; “The important information here is that if someone is being surprised by a shooter, they’d be shot through the shoulder or the back and then the bullet would enter the chest. It’s significant that Chasen was shot on the right breast plate in a cluster, indicating that she’d turned towards her shooter. Something occurred that prompted her to turn towards her shooter. The police source added that because the shooter had such a steady hand, it indicated that they were an expert in firearms.
However what the news reported ONLY once and never again is what caught my attention and that is the security cameras at the corner of Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard where the shooting occurred were not working that night, so they had to gather security footage from the homes on Whilshire Blvd. Who is responsible for those cameras? UPDATE The security cameras has not worked for two years because of budget cuts. Those rich people are going to love that finding of where their tax dollars are NOT going.
Chasen was shot five times in the chest at close range through the passenger window of her late-model Mercedes-Benz E-350 as she made a left turn onto Whittier from Sunset, at about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 16.
Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad two weeks ago said police had determined Chasen was the intended target of the shooting.
After the shooting death of Chasen police have been investigating whether it was a hit or some other type of attack.
Chasen a high profile publicist in Hollywood previously served as vice president of publicity at MGM studios.
Chasen’s death was the third homicide in Beverly Hills this year. The neighborhood had no homicides last year.
The location has been called the Bermuda Triangle of Beverly Hills because it’s near the area where Howard Hughes survived a plane crash in 1946 and Bugsy Siegel was gunned down on the street.
I see screen writers already working on a script called the “Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle.”
As soon as John J. Nazarian gets back from his latest client related trip we will contact him and ask him his opinion on all of the happenings from last night.
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December 2, 2010
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