Something is fishy about this story:
A late-night shooting that left a prominent Beverly Hills publicist dead in her Mercedes on Sunset Boulevard has become a mystery straight out of one of the movies she promoted.
Ronni Chasen, a publicist and woman-about-town, was gunned down early Tuesday after attending the premiere of the new Cher film “Burlesque,” whose soundtrack she was pushing for an Oscar nomination, according to the trade publication Variety. She also was working with 20th Century Fox on a supporting actor Oscar campaign for Michael Douglas in “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps,” according to Allen Berry, a publicist for the actor.
She was shot in the chest several times in the attack that sent her black Mercedes-Benz crashing into a light post in a serene Beverly Hills neighborhood. Police had no motive or suspects and said no threats had been reported against the 64-year-old Chasen. The mystery deepened later in the day when police seized computers from her firm, Chasen and Co. Witnesses said they heard gunshots in the neighborhood and called 911 before going outside to help.
Nahid Shekarchian, who lives just south of the crash site, told the Los Angeles Times that she heard a “boom-boom-boom” and told her daughter-in-law to call 911. Shekarchian said she went outside and found a woman bleeding profusely inside the car, according to the newspaper. The front passenger’s window was shattered.
Shekarchian told the newspaper that the driver “was breathing very heavily” and did not respond when another neighbor asked, “Can I help you?”
The Los Angeles Times also reports that Chasen placed a cell phone call to her office six minutes before she was shot. Chasen left a voicemail message for staff at 12:22 a.m., outlining a to-do list for her employees, according to the newspaper.
The Beverly Hills Police Department told FoxNews.com that officers responded to a report of gunshots in the area at approximately 12:28 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, they found a Mercedes-Benz E-350 sedan crashed into a lamp post with a “lone female occupant.” The woman was still alive, authorities said.
Police have so far declined to say if anything was taken from the vehicle. News of the famed publicist’s killing has stunned those who knew her in the film industry.
“I had the extreme pleasure of working with Ronni on ‘Driving Miss Daisy,”‘ Morgan Freeman, who was nominated for an Oscar for the film, said in a statement. “We’ve been friends ever since. She is someone I greatly admired, and she will be remembered.”
“She wasn’t a shady character,” said fellow publicist Howard Bragman. “It’s a small community and she was one of the fixtures in it.” Chasen was involved in Hollywood publicity since the 1970s. She also promoted “On Golden Pond,” which won Academy Awards for best actor, actress and screenplay in 1981.
In recent years, she worked with a number of music clients, including Janet Jackson, composer Hans Zimmer, producer Glen Ballard and Diane Warren, who wrote the song “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” which Cher sings in “Burlesque.”
Her colleague says she wasn’t a shady character, but there is certainly something shady about her death.
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