Police Say Ronni Chasen's Death Was a Robbery Gone Bad, Not a Hit
It's the latest shocking turn in the murder mystery that is riveting the nation. Beverly Hills police are now saying that Harold Martin Smith, the suspect who fatally shot himself when confronted by detectives, did kill Hollywood publicist Ronnie Chasen.
"We believe that Mr. Smith acted alone. We don't believe it was a professional hit," said Beverly Hills Police Chief David Snowden at a press conference.
Cops are calling the event a "robbery gone bad."
Chief Snowden said, "The gun used in the suicide was the same gun used to kill Ronnie Chasen."
Detectives now say ballistics tests show a match between the gun Smith turned on himself and the weapon used to kill Chasen.
And police now say Chasen's killer wasn't in a vehicle at all; he was on a bicycle.
"We believe his mode of transportation was by bicycle," said Sergeant Mike Pubckler of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
"If she was parked at the intersection waiting for the light to turn green and he all of a sudden rode up on her or walked up on her, he would be basically two feet away from her," retired LAPD detective Tom Elfmont told INSIDE EDITION after visiting the crime scene.
One of Smith's neighbors told INSIDE EDITION he was an extremely skillful bike rider.
"He was always well handled on a bike- he would ride that bike like nothing. He was versatile he was always switching up his hands and he was always driving mostly with one hand," said Teri Gilpin.
But many are expressing skepticism about the police announcement that Smith acted alone.
KCAL/KCBS reporter Dave Lopez spoke about the disbelief expressed by many reporters, who hammered away with question after question.
"People are shaking their head saying, 'How in the world could this guy have done this alone?' " Lopez says.
And there are other skeptics. One blogger writes, "Seriously we're supposed to believe that he biked up to a moving car and shot her 5 times to rob her, then didn't take anything?"
But police say they're confident they've identified the killer.
The person who called in to America's Most Wanted with the tip about Harold Smith is expected to receive $100,000 in reward money.