The Shocking Murder of Jacqueline Avant

Eighty-one-year-old Jacqueline Avant, the philanthropist and wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant was shot and killed on Wednesday in their Beverly Hills home.

The Beverly Hills police communication center received a call at 2.23 a.m. in response to a shooting, and upon arrival, the police found a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspects were no longer on the scene when the police arrived. According to documents provided to the Hollywood reporter, the victim was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital but did not survive.

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed that Clarence Avant, married to Jacqueline from 1967, was not injured. Nicole Avant, Jacqueline and Clarence’s daughter, is married to Netflix’s co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. 

“The motives in this case are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives,” newly sworn-in Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook told reporters hours after the shooting. “We will not speculate on anything that is not there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not.”

Stainbrook also read a statement from the Avant family, “Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community.” “She will be missed by her family, friends, and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”

And though Stainbrook remained tight-lipped on who they suspected and how many suspects the police department was looking at, a suspect has been arrested. Twenty-nine-year-old Aariel Maynor was arrested in connection to the murder of Jacqueline Avant.

In a press release, the Beverly Hills Police Department revealed multiple surveillance videos showing the 29-year-old suspect’s vehicle leaving the area where Jacqueline was shot and killed.

The police say that Maynor has an extensive criminal record and was out on parole. The BPD believes Maynor might be responsible for the Wednesday shooting because an hour after Jacqueline was murdered, the police responded to another shooting at a home in nearby Hollywood.

When the police arrived, they found Maynor suffering from a gunshot wound on his foot in the backyard.

“He was in the house and was collecting property and then after that somehow discharged a weapon and apparently shot himself in the foot,” said Blake Chow, LAPD’s deputy chief. “Somewhere in the night we had an astute watch commander of Hollywood that started to put two and two together and reached out to Beverly Hills, and there were some similarities.”

The similarities that Chow speaks of include the getaway car caught on surveillance heading to Hollywood an AR-15 rifle found with Maynor, which police believe was used to kill Jacqueline.

The police have not had a chance to speak to Maynor, who is currently receiving medical care. Maynor will be booked into police custody once the police clear him.

“It is a sad case, and although we are happy we have an arrest, I feel so bad for the family,” Stainbrook said after the arrest of Aariel. “The evidence thus far shows that only one suspect was involved in the crime and the motive remains under investigation. Our focus now has transitioned from finding a suspect to finding a suspect to a continuing investigation that will lead to a successful prosecution.”

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