Hollywood insiders were shocked following Tuesday morning's news that longtime film publicist Ronni Chasen was gunned down in her Mercedes in one of the tonier parts of a tony city, Beverly Hills.
“We are heartbroken, shocked and completely devastated,” Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures, said in a statement to the trades that was picked up by The Hollywood Reporter.
“All of us in personal publicity are devastated by this tragic loss,” Hollywood publicist Kelly Bush said in a statement published at The Wrap. “Ronni was a terrific publicist, blazing a trail for women in this business, like few others. I greatly admired and respected her. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and staff.”
Former Weekly contributor Nikki Finke, publisher of Deadline.com, writes that she spoke to Chasen early Monday evening and that the publicist was “promoting Academy Award nominations for Michael Douglas in the Supporting Actor category for Twentieth Century Fox's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
Finke reports that the 64-year-old then attended the premiere of Burlesque at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood before attending a party for the film at Drai's nearby .
It appears to Finke that Chasen was shot on her way home to Westwood from there.
The attack in the 800 block of N. Whittier Drive near Sunset Boulevard was reported just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Beverly Hills police stated.
Chasen was found at the wheel of her black Mercedes E-Class, which had run into a pole not far from the exclusive Los Angeles Country Club. She reportedly sustained five gunshot wounds to her chest and was soon pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.