Spector boasts he's cleared in shooting. He says investigators have determined that Lana Clarkson accidentally shot herself

By Gary Susman
March 11, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

According to an e-mail sent by Phil Spector, Los Angeles police are about to clear him of responsibility for the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson in his mansion in the wee hours of Feb. 3 and will rule instead that Clarkson accidentally shot herself. So says Spector himself, in an e-mail he sent to supporters, according to Los Angeles radio station KFI. ”We hate to use the words ‘I told you so,’ but I did tell you so,” the legendary record producer wrote, according to the New York Daily News. ”After seven weeks of silence, we can say with certainty, this will speak for itself, and boy does it speak volumes! Loud and clear to the world.”

The Daily News spoke to two law enforcement sources, who seemed to confirm Spector’s message. ”It was a tragic accident,” one source told the paper. Still, it wasn’t clear how Clarkson came to be holding a gun, or whose gun it was. Spector, who has been free on $1 million bond since the night after the shooting, is known to collect guns. There were still loose ends that could take weeks to tie up — toxicology tests on both Spector and Clarkson, examination of some 95 pieces of evidence — before the L.A. County Sheriff’s department can release an official report.

L.A. Sheriff’s homicide Captain Frank Merriman said, however, that Spector’s announcement was premature. ”We still believe that a crime occurred,” he told the Pasadena Star-News. ”I could be talking about manslaughter and I could be talking about murder. We still haven’t analyzed the evidence.” Even if Clarkson’s death is ruled accidental, investigators may still blame Spector for creating a dangerous situation and charge him with gross negligence, Merriman said. Spector’s own legal team has also declined to comment while the investigation is still pending.

Those in Clarkson’s camp doubted that she could or would have shot herself. ”She wasn’t one to play with guns,” her agent, Ray Cavaleri, told the Post.