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Chasen murder mystery: suicide victim likely killed her

Chasen was shot five times in the chest shortly after midnight on Nov. 16 while she was driving home from the premiere of the new film, 'Burlesque,' starring Cher and Christina Aguilera.

Beverly Hills police claims to have solved the murder mystery of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen. Authorities investigating the case said on Wednesday that Chasen was murdered in a random shooting by a robber riding a bicycle.

The 64-year-old ubiquitous publicist, famous for working on films such as 'Driving Miss Daisy' and 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,' was mysteriously slain early Nov. 16 as she drove her Mercedes through Beverly Hills after attending a gala premiere of the movie 'Burlesque.'

Earlier this month, a man who was a person of interest in the slaying of the publicist shot himself dead in front of cops in a Hollywood residential motel after being confronted by detectives.

Police added that the 43-year-old Smith, an ex-con, appears to have acted alone and likely shot the publicist while riding a bike.

Publicist death mystery solved
Now the authorities say that the late Harold Martin Smith, a person of interest in the murder of Ronni Chasen, murdered Ronni Chasen in a robbery that eventually went bad, according to multiple tabloids, including New York Daily News, ABC News and Reuters.

"This was a random act of violence," Daily quoted Sgt. Michael Publicker of the Beverly Hills Police Department as saying. "With Mr. Smith's background, we believe it was most likely a robbery gone bad."

Police added that the 43-year-old Smith, an ex-con, appears to have acted alone and likely shot the publicist while riding a bike.

Gun matched
Based on a preliminary ballistic examination, the Beverly Hills police chief Dave Snowden said that Chasen’s death probably was not a professional hit, and that the gun that Smith used to shoot himself appeared to be a match to the gun that killed Chasen, reports Los Angeles Times.

“The gun used to shoot Ms. Chasen is the same gun used by Mr. Harold Martin Smith to commit suicide,” Snowden said. “We believe Mr. Smith acted alone. We don’t believe it is a professional hit.”

Other details in the case
Police showed up at the low-income Harvey Apartments after a tip from the television show 'America's Most Wanted,' which receives tips from members of the public.

Officers went to Smith's Santa Monica Boulevard apartment building on Dec. 1 to question him about the Chasen slaying, but he shot himself in the head as they approached.

One of Smith's neighbors claimed that he bragged about being paid $10000 for carrying out the hit on Chasen.

According to police, the probe into the slaying of famed publicist is almost complete. They are now waiting for final ballistic test results to come back with a definite match on the gun, which could take two weeks.

Brutally murdered
Chasen was shot five times in the chest shortly after midnight on Nov. 16 while she was driving home from the premiere of the new film, 'Burlesque,' starring Cher and Christina Aguilera.

Her Mercedes-Benz E350 was discovered crashed into a light pole at Greenway Drive.

Upon reaching the scene, cops found Chasen mortally-wounded and struggling to breathe.

Paramedics took the publicist to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.