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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Phil Spector Arrested

Aired February 3, 2003 - 14:32   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go now to Los Angeles. Joining me on the phone, Paul Vercammen with an update on what we reported just a little bit earlier ago, Phil Spector being detained by police in Los Angeles. That was the last word we had had. Let's talk to Paul, see what he has -- Paul, what do you know?
PAUL VERCAMMEN: Well, Anderson, a chaotic scene here in Alhambra, which is just about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles just outside the palatial estate of Phil Spector.

We understand now from authorities that he was arrested. He has not yet been booked. Basically what happened is, early this morning about 5:00 a.m., police received a report of shots fired at this Pyrenees castle that is the residence of Phil Spector. They responded to the scene, and they found a woman dead at the scene. Her body has not yet been taken out of the castle. Of course, it's early on in the investigation. Authorities will not reveal her name at this point, pending notification of next of kin.

Meanwhile, Phil Spector is in downtown Alhambra at the police station, and he is being held there, and I would assume he is being questioned at this time. They also will not tell us at this point what weapon might have been used in the shooting, and/or if Phil Spector would be the primary suspect.

I can tell you that his house overlooks a hill -- it is at the top of a hill. Leading up to it, a bunch of modest homes, and I chatted with neighbors here, and they said they did not hear anything early this morning. They didn't hear any shots fired, although one man said that he and his wife heard some dogs barking, and that she reported that a police car was actually towed out of there. But so far, this is what we know, that Phil Spector has been taken into custody.

Reporting live from Alhambra, I am Paul Vercammen -- back to you, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Paul, we're seeing video taken from, obviously, I guess, helicopters of people walking into the Phil Spector estate. I assume those are police investigators of some sort.

Do we know much about Phil Spector, what he's been doing in the last couple of years? He's sort of a famous recluse in the rock and roll world. He obviously gained a lot of notoriety in the late '50s, early 1960s when he perfected what came to be called the "wall of sound," heavy instrumentation. He worked with the Beatles. I believe he produced some work for John Lennon, Paul McCartney as well. VERCAMMEN: George Harrison.

(CROSSTALK)

VERCAMMEN: Phil Spector -- he has been lying very low in the last few years. As you were mentioning, he did do some work for the Beatles project. And, of course, he worked with George Harrison on a couple of projects, including "All Things Must Pass" and a concert for Bangladesh.

In recent years, Phil Spector had not been a big name player in the music industry in a sense. Some said he was somewhat reclusive at this home here in Alhambra. I should also note that quite a huge stretch of street here has been cordoned off then, just to make sure it wasn't a mere formality, I asked the officer on the scene -- sheriff's deputies are contributing to this investigation -- she said that it had been cordoned off, and let's call this about 100 square yards, as a possible crime scene. She also said that the body was found inside the Spector residence -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Paul Vercammen reporting on the phone from Los Angeles with the latest on this developing story. Paul, thanks very much.

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