Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Clarence Avant’s Wife: Police

  • Police arrested a man in connection to the fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant in Beverly Hills.
  • Avant, a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist, was married to music executive Clarence Avant.
  • Authorities said the suspect used an AR-15 rifle during the Wednesday morning robbery. 

An arrest has been made in the killing of music executive Clarence Avant’s wife, Jacqueline, authorities said on Thursday.

Beverly Hills police said Aariel Maynor, 29, was arrested after surveillance cameras showed his car leaving Beverly Hills shortly after Jacqueline, 81, was shot at her home during a robbery early Wednesday morning. 

She was transported to a hospital but didn’t survive, police said. 

During a Thursday press conference, police said Maynor used an AR-15 rifle during the break-in and later shot himself in the foot at another home burglary in Hollywood that same day.

Shortly thereafter, authorities said they found Maynor in the residential backyard of the second home with a gunshot wound to his foot, where he was then arrested by Los Angeles police and taken to a local hospital. He’s remained in police custody since, authorities said. 

“It is a sad case, and although we are happy we have an arrest, I feel so bad for the family,” Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook told The Los Angeles Times.

The Avants’ home is located in the high-end Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, and police said both Clarence and a security guard were present in the home at the time of the shooting. Authorities said nothing obvious was taken from the home but an investigation is ongoing. 

Los Angeles law enforcement is battling a troubling uptick in upscale robberies targeting celebrities and high-end restaurants. Just one day before Avant’s death, LAPD Police Chief Michael Moore announced on Tuesday that he is creating a task-force to combat follow-home burglars. 

Jacqueline Avant was a well-known philanthropist and a mainstay in national Democratic circles. Avant was also a board member of the International Student Center at UCLA, NPR reported on Thursday. 

Her husband, Clarence, is a longtime music legend and Grammy winner, known as the “Black Godfather,” for his collaborations with stars like Jimmy Smith, Bill Withers, and Babyface. 

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