Suspect Arrested in Death of Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant

A 29-year-old man has been arrested in the death of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, who was fatally shot this week at the Beverly Hills home she shared with her husband, legendary music executive Clarence Avant, police said Thursday.

Aariel Maynor, who was on parole, was taken into custody early Wednesday by Los Angeles police at a separate residence after a burglary there, Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said. 

Police recovered an AR-15 rifle at that home that was believed to have been used in the shooting of Jacqueline Avant. Maynor accidentally shot himself in the foot with the gun, police said, and was being treated before he could be booked into jail. 

Authorities said they did not believe there were any other suspects in the Avant case, and Stainbrook said there were no outstanding threats to public safety. 

Police had not yet determined a motive or whether the Avant home was targeted. It was not immediately known if Maynor had an attorney. 

Maynor has previous felony convictions for assault, robbery and grand theft.

Police were called to the Avants’ home early Wednesday after receiving a call reporting a shooting. Officers found Jacqueline Avant, 81, with a gunshot wound. She was taken to the hospital but did not survive. 

Clarence Avant and a security guard at their home were not hurt during the shooting. 

Reported shooting

An hour later, Los Angeles police were called to a home in the Hollywood Hills — about 7 miles (11.27 kilometers) from the Avant residence — because of a reported shooting. They found Maynor there, as well as evidence of a burglary at that home, and took him into custody. 

Jacqueline Avant was a longtime local philanthropist who led organizations that helped low-income neighborhoods including Watts and South Los Angeles, and she was on the board of directors of the International Student Center at the University of California-Los Angeles. 

Grammy-winning executive Clarence Avant is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. The 90-year-old was also a concert promoter and manager who mentored and helped the careers of artists including Bill Withers, Little Willie John, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. 

Tributes to Jacqueline Avant poured in from across the country. She was remembered by former President Bill Clinton, basketball icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Democratic Representative Karen Bass of California and music star Quincy Jones.

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