Hollywood publicist 'killed in robbery attempt by ex-con who killed self'

Washington, Dec 9 (ANI): Police investigating the killing of a Hollywood publicist in the US last month have revealed that it was likely a random attempt by an ex-convict who later used the same gun to kill himself.

Preliminary ballistics tests on the firearm Harold Martin Smith used to commit suicide tie the gun to the November 16 shooting of publicist Ronni Chasen.

"It was a match," Fox News quoted Sgt. Michael Publicker, an investigator with the Beverly Hills Police Department, as saying.

Smith was apparently unprovoked before he shot and killed Chasen as she drove home from a movie premier, and police say the publicist had been targeted for a robbery.

That runs counter to early media reports that said Smith had bragged to his neighbours about receiving a large sum of money just days before the killing, prompting speculation that Chasen's death was a hit job.

Police say Smith simply was "down on his luck" and at a "desperate point in his life."

"It is our belief that he was not a paid hit man," Publicker added.

Police call the investigation "ongoing" but consider it about 60 percent complete, pending additional interviews.

"We want to rule out the possibility that other people were involved," Publicker stated. (ANI)

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