BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–A long-time Hollywood publicist was fatally shot today inside her Mercedes-Benz, which then crashed into a light pole in Beverly Hills.
Ronni Chasen, 64, was shot five times in the chest around 12:30 a.m. near Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard, according to Beverly Hills police.
Officers responding to the scene found Chasen’s black, late-model E-350 sedan crashed into a light pole on Whittier just south of Sunset. Chasen was taken to Cedars-Sinal Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, according to the coroner’s office.
Police said they had no information about a suspect or motive for the shooting.
Chasen, the former senior vice president of worldwide publicity at MGM, was a well-known figure in Hollywood film and publicity circles. She worked as a unit publicist on films such as “Driving Miss Daisy,” “On Golden Pond” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”
On Monday night, she attended the red-carpet premiere of “Burlesque,” starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. She had apparently attended an after-party and was on her way home to Westwood when she was shot.
Chasen’s death was the third homicide this year in Beverly Hills.
On May 4, Diane Newlander, 73, was found dead in her home in the 400 block of South Swall Drive, a victim of an apparent murder-suicide.
Katsutoshi Tony Takazato was fatally stabbed July 20, allegedly by the boyfriend of a former girlfriend. Takazato was found dead outside his home in the 1800 block of Carla Ridge in the exclusive Trousdale Estates area.
Takazato’s ex-girlfriend, Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, and her boyfriend, Scott Joseph Barker, are charged in connection with the slaying. Both have pleaded not guilty.
The city had no homicides in 2009.