Police say Spector fired shot that killed actress. Cops wrap seven-month probe into the shooting of Lana Clarkson at producer Phil Spector's mansion

By Gary Susman
Updated September 19, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Phil Spector
Credit: Phil Spector: Brad Elterman/ZUMA Press/NewsCom

Seven months after the fatal shooting of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson at music producer Phil Spector’s mansion, police have finally finished their investigation into the matter and have concluded that Spector did fire the fatal shot, the Los Angeles Times reports. ”It’s not an accident. It’s not a suicide,” sheriff’s department Capt. Frank Merriman told the Times. ”Phil Spector shot her.”

The report contradicts Spector’s version of events. The producer, who has been free on $1 million bail since the day after the shooting in February, told Esquire magazine in July that Clarkson ”kissed the gun” and shot herself, perhaps by accident. Spector, whose penchant for waving guns has been recounted in stories by musical clients from John Lennon to the Ramones, said he had never met Clarkson before picking her up that night at Hollywood’s House of Blues, where she worked as a hostess. Three hours later, police responded to a call and found her dead, shot once in the face, in the foyer of his castle-like home in Alhambra, Calif.

Merriman said delays in unspecified tests made the investigation drag on. Now, however, it’s up to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to decide what charges, if any, to bring against Spector, who has not commented on the findings. ”We turned over the case,” Merriman said. ”We had plenty of evidence for them”