A man wanted for questioning in connection with the slaying of powerhouse Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself Wednesday night as police closed in, authorities said.
Chasen, 64, who represented A-list movie stars and promoted some of Hollywood’s top films, was driving home Nov. 16 after attending the premiere party for the movie “Burlesque” when she was gunned down.
Beverly Hills police confronted the man as they were conducting a follow up investigation in the case at the Harvey Apartments on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles police captain Kevin McClure said at a news conference Wednesday.
“While conducting that follow up, the person they were looking for showed up. They attempted to talk to the suspect. When they did, the suspect produced a hand gun and there was a self inflicted wound at that point,” McClure said.
Police said the man killed himself in the lobby and was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Los Angeles Times, sources told the newspaper that the shooting occurred after 6 p.m. as police were serving a search warrant. The sources said the dead man was a suspect in the case and may have been part of a wider probe of the shooting.
Police sources told ABC News that they plan to do a ballistics test to see if the gun used in the suicide is the gun used to kill Chasen.
Authorities haven’t released the man’s identity and won’t say how the man was connected to Chasen’s death.
Residents at the apartment building told the Los Angeles Times that they believed the man was in his 40s and went by the name of “Harold.”
Brandon Harrison told the Times that Harold described himself to a neighbor as “an ex-convict who served two stints in state prison, the most recent for firearms and drug convictions” and “vowed he would never go to prison.” He told the neighbor that he would be receiving $10,000, either for a job he had done or from a lawsuit.
Beverly Hills Police emphasized that the man “was a person of interest” — not a suspect and the investigation was not over.