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Beverly Hills Police are not sure if the man called a “person of interest” in the Ronni Chasen case was actually involved in the killing.
The man, identified in media reports as Harold Smith, killed himself on Wednesday as police detectives served him a warrant concerning the slaying of the Hollywood publicist.
“Undercover officers attempted to contact a ‘person of interest’ when he pulled a gun and took his own life,” Beverly Hills Police said in a statement Friday. “At this time, it is unknown if this individual was involved in the Chasen homicide.”
The statement added that detectives have received “numerous tips and theories from the public, all of which are thoroughly investigated.”
One such tip, from America’s Most Wanted television show, ultimately led police to the Harvey Apartments, where police detectives approached Smith.
TMZ reported that Smith was arrested by the Manhattan Beach, Calif. police department in 2009 for prowling and marijuana possession.
Smith allegedly tried to break into a house through the backdoor and then threatened the homeowner saying, “I’m going to kill you.”
Chasen was shot to death early Nov. 16.
Earlier Friday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Beverly Hills Police Department has obtained and reviewed private surveillance camera video taken from a Whittier Drive house that shows Chasen’s car hitting a lamp post. It is the first known video of the early-morning incident.
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