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Times coverage: Authorities believe Ronni Chasen gunman acted alone

Photo: Hollywood publicist Ronnie Chasen. Credit: Los Angeles Times Authorities said this week that they believe a man who committed suicide in front of police in an apartment building in Hollywood was the gunman who killed Ronni Chasen. Chasen, a well-known celebrity publicist, was gunned down Nov. 16 in Beverly Hills while driving home from the premiere of the movie "Burlesque."

Harold Martin Smith killed himself  Dec. 1 at the Harvey Apartments on Santa Monica Boulevard after Beverly Hills police arrived to serve a search warrant for his apartment.

They believed he had information about Chasen's slaying.

Photo: Harold Martin Smith. Credit: Booking photo. When police officers approached Smith in the lobby of the apartment building, he backed up and refused their orders to raise his hands. He pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Based on a preliminary ballistic examination, investigators now say the gun Smith used to take his life matches the gun that was used to kill Chasen.

At a news conference, Beverly Hills police said Chasen, a 64-year-old white woman, was killed in a botched robbery by Smith, who had a long criminal record. It appears he acted alone, they said, and may have shot the publicist while riding a bike.

Reporters Andrew Blankstein and Martha Groves have more on the story: Ronni Chasen shot in botched robbery; gunman acted alone, police say 

Left photo: Hollywood publicist Ronnie Chasen. Credit: Los Angeles Times. Right photo: Suspect Harold Martin Smith. Credit: Booking photo.

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