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Report: Gun In Suicide Linked To Publicist’s Murder

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(credit: AP Photo/Nick Ut)

(credit: AP Photo/Nick Ut)

BEVERLY HILLS (AP) — Police on Wednesday will discuss preliminary ballistics results in the death of a Hollywood publicist gunned down in her car last month as she drove home from a movie premiere.

The news conference will focus on the results from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department crime lab, Police Chief David Snowden told The Associated Press. It will be the first time Beverly Hills police have talked publicly about evidence in the slaying.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the gun Harold Martin Smith used to kill himself last week matches the gun used to gun down the longtime Hollywood publicist.

Chasen, 64, was shot multiple times in the chest as she drove through Beverly Hills as she returned home from a premiere of the movie “Burlesque.”

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. After she was shot, she drove down Whittier before crashing into a light pole.

An initial coroner’s report said Chasen appeared to have been killed with 9 mm hollow point bullets. The report, obtained by KTTV’s Fox 11 News, said one such bullet was pulled from Chasen’s back in the hospital, and she had been shot multiple times. Autopsy results for Chasen and Smith have not been released and remained under a security hold with the coroner’s office.

Smith shot and killed himself last week when police went to speak with him at a rundown apartment building. Investigators called Smith a “person of interest” but stressed that it was not known if he was connected to the slaying.

Officers approached Smith after someone phoned a tip into the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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