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Ronni Chasen Autopsy Report Says Shooter Was In A Car, Not On A Bike As Police Said

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An autopsy report from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office contradicts the police’s version of what happened the night veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was shot to death in her car.

Chasen, 64, was found shot four times in her Mercedes coupe on a Beverly Hills street in November of 2010. A year-long investigation by the Beverly Hills Police Department concluded that her death resulted from a botched robbery attempt by Harold Martin Smith, an ex-convict desperate for money.

Police said Smith was on his bike when he approached Chasen’s car at a red light at Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive and tried to rob her.

However, the report released this week contains a section labeled “Informant/Witness Statements” says the shooter approached Chasen in an unknown vehicle.

“While she was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive and(sic) unknown vehicle pulled up and someone fired approximately 4 gunshots into her vehicle,” the report read. “All witnesses report hearing 4 gunshots.”

Smith fatally shot himself in Hollywood before police could bring him in for questioning.

Beverly Hills Police later issued this statement:

“The Beverly Hills Department is proud of its investigation of the Ronni Chasen homicide and we stand by our final conclusion. The police department has always been sensitive and protective as to the privacy and feelings of the Chasen family and others who have been victims of such a tragedy. We have great respect for the friends and family of Ms. Chasen, we are hopeful that others will continue to respect their privacy.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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