BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clarence Avant, also known as "The Black Godfather," is in mourning after his wife, Jacqueline, was shot and killed at their Beverly Hills estate early Wednesday morning, officials said.
The Beverly Hills Police Department was notified of a break-in in the affluent Trousdale Estates neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said the motive for the killing remains unknown. However, police believe it is not a random attack.
"We’re still processing all the evidence from the scene that we have," Stainbrook said.
When officers arrived at the estate, located in the 1100 block of Maytor Place, they discovered Jacqueline with a gunshot wound. She was transported to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.
Authorities added the 90-year-old music executive was home at the time of the shooting. His condition is unknown.
(L-R) Jay-Z, Jon Platt, Clarence Avant, and H.E.R. pose backstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for
"I want to reassure the Beverly Hills community that your city remains one of the safest in the nation. Crime of any type will not be tolerated in our City and we will not rest until the suspects or suspect, in this case, are brought to justice," Chief Stainbrook added.
The music executive and the philanthropist had been married for 54 years.
The Avant family released the following statement:
"Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist and 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 the people she has helped throughout her amazing life."
Jacqueline Avant remembered by the community
Congresswoman Karen Bass issued the following statement in a press release:
"I’m heartbroken by this morning’s news of the tragic and shocking murder of Mrs. Jacqueline Avant. Mrs. Avant was a force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, as well as a model of service and giving back to those who needed it most. The devastating events of last night along with recent reports of brazen crime in Los Angeles rupture the expectation of safety we have for our friends, families and fellow Angelenos. Whether you are in South Los Angeles or Beverly Hills, all of us have a right to be safe and last night was an absolute violation of that right. Those responsible must be held fully accountable. My thoughts are with Mr. Avant, Nicole and Ted, Alex and the rest of the Avant family as they mourn the loss of such a wonderful wife, mother and friend."
"Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen & a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years. She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed," former President Bill Clinton wrote on social media.
"Jackie was the sweetest person you could ever meet. She had a beautiful soul, kind heart, & always had a kind word for everybody. She was quiet, yet powerful, & very smart. We are crying for Clarence, Nicole, & Alex’s loss. Our thoughts & prayers go out to the entire family," LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson tweeted.
Mrs. Avant was a treasured member of the community, known for her charitable work and kindness. She was on the Board of Directors at UCLA’s International Student Center and was the President of the support group Neighbors of Watts.
Police say the area has been a hot spot for crime in recent months and it’s happening across Los Angeles County.
In late October, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Dorit Kemsley was held at gunpoint at her Encino home while her kids were sleeping.
Nearly two weeks later, television host and actor Terrance J was able to escape an attempted follow-home robbery at his Sherman Oaks home.
The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information about the crime was urged to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310-288-2656.
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