Man commits suicide as police close in

Dec. 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM
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HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A ballistics test will provide a clue in the slaying of a Hollywood movie publicist, police said.

Harold Martin Smith killed himself Friday when officers from the Hollywood Police Department attempted to question him about the death of Ronni Chasen, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A ballistics test will reveal if the gun Martin used to kill himself was used in Chasen's death.

"At this time, it is unknown if this individual was involved in the Chasen homicide," department spokesman Lt. Tony Lee said.

Chasen was shot to death in her Mercedes-Benz on Nov. 16 as she drove home from a premiere party for the movie "Burlesque."

Three days later, the crime was featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted," and the show received a tip about a man claiming knowledge of her death.

"He said, 'I think I know this guy. Someone has been bragging about it or talking about it and this is a dangerous guy and I'm afraid,'" the show's host, John Walsh, said.

But the caller hung up without providing further details.

"We begged the guy to call back," Walsh said.

He called back a few days later, and said Smith was expected to visit an apartment building where he had once lived.

Police followed up on the lead and when they approached Martin, he pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

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