Hunt for a Suspect: New Clues Emerge in Publicist Ronni Chasen's Slaying

Was shooter an expert marksman?

ByABC News
November 18, 2010, 6:41 PM

Dec. 1, 2010 — -- Investigators still have no motive, witnesses or suspects in the slaying of a powerhouse Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen but details in an initial coroner's report reveal that the shooter appears to be an expert marksman.

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.

According to the preliminary coroner's report, which is now under security hold, "there were three apparent gunshot wounds to the right side breast/chest area. There were two apparent gunshot wounds to the right shoulder. There was an apparent gunshot wound to the right upper back and the left upper back."

"One bullet was recovered from her back while at the hospital and is possibly a 9mm hollow point," the report said.

Detectives suspect the gunfire came from a SUV or truck pulling alongside Chasen's Mercedes Benz E530. Chasen was stopped at a red light Sunset Boulevard and Whittier Drive when the shooting occurred.

"After being struck by gunfire...she then made a left turn and drove for approximately a quarter mile before she crashed her car into a pole," the report said.

Detectives say it appears the shooter was an expert marksman.

"Normally they turn the gun sideways and this is something that was done with some skill," said Gill Carillo, who worked as a homicide detective in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. "I carried a gun for 38 years and had to fire it quarterly. I don't think that I could shoot and hit that mass like that."

No shell casings were recovered and only the car's right side passenger seats and windows were damaged.

Investigators told ABC News that the security cameras that used to monitor traffic at the intersection where Chasen was shot were removed several years ago to save money.

However, Beverly Hills police are seeking for any surveillance video that may provide more clues in solving Chasen's murder.

On Nov. 18, The Hollywood Reporter, cited an unnamed Beverly Hills official who said police believed the attack "was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry."

The Reporter's website also said there was "relevant footage" from at least one security camera near the site of the shooting.

The trade paper reported the video came from the home of Sherry Hackett, widow of the late comedian and actor Buddy Hackett, who lived down the block.

In addition to surveillance video, investigators are combing through computer hard drives seized from Chasen's office and listening to 911 calls.

"On the profile of this woman, you certainly have to look at the potential that somebody wanted to harm her," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett.