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Criminal Justice

Man Arrested For Killing Of Jaqueline Avant, Local Philanthropist Who Was Shot In Her Beverly Hills Home

Jaqueline and Clarence Avant dressed in formal outfits, photographed at a pre-GRAMMY party.
Jacqueline Avant and Clarence Avant attend the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean "Diddy" Combs on Jan. 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills.
(Alberto E. Rodriguez
Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
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A man is now in custody in connection with the killing of local philanthropist, Jacqueline Avant. Avant, 81, was fatally shot early Wednesday morning at her home in Beverly Hills.

At a news conference Thursday, Beverly Hills Police Department officials said multiple surveillance videos show a vehicle heading east out of Beverly Hills shortly after Avant was shot with an AR-15. They said they have tied that vehicle to Aariel Maynor, 29.

About an hour after police were called to the Avant home, Maynor was picked up outside a home in the Hollywood Hills, where authorities said he was armed with an AR-15.

According to the LAPD, Maynor accidentally shot himself in the foot during an attempted break-in at a home off Beachwood Canyon. An LAPD watch commander who was aware of the earlier shooting in Beverly Hills believed there might be a link to that attack and notified Beverly Hills police.

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Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said it's too early to offer a potential motive for the killing.

“Our focus now,” Stainbrook said, “has transitioned from finding a suspect to a continuing investigation that will lead to a successful prosecution.”

Avant's shooting death, highly unusual in Beverly Hills, follows an increase in rise in what police call "follow-home" robberies. Last week, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a police commission meeting: ""We haven't seen a robbery series like this in decades. And we intend to not allow it to continue.”

In response, the LAPD has created a new task force to add resources from the department's Gang Narcotics Division and Metropolitan Division to help investigate well over 100 follow-home robberies.

Avant was the wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant. Known as the "Black Godfather," he was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He and a private security guard were also at the home at the time of the shooting and they both were uninjured.

There has been an outpouring of condolences and support for Avant's family. She was a prominent donor to a variety of organizations, people and causes, including the UCLA International Student Center and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

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