Jacqueline Avant’s fatal shooting may not have been ‘random attack,’ police chief says

According to TMZ, the incident occurred at the couple's residence in Trousdale Estates, an affluent neighborhood near Beverly Hills.

Police do not believe that the fatal shooting that left Jacqueline Avant dead was a “random attack.”

Beverly Hills police officials held a press conference on Wednesday to offer an update on the tragedy that has stunned Hollywood and those closest to the philanthropist, The Wrap reports. The wife of the legendary Clarence Avant, former Motown Boss who was a 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, died on Tuesday after her home was burglarized and was shot.

Authorities do not believe the home invasion was by chance.

Producer Clarence Avant and wife Jackie arrive at The Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards ceremony held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on February 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“I don’t think it was a random attack,” Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said. “I can’t speculate on that right now.”

The suspect or suspects remain at large, added Stainbrook added that any suspect or suspects still remain at large. He asked the public to come forward with any information they may have about the incident.  

“This is a difficult day for our city,” the police chief said, on his third day of the job.  

Stainbrook also took the time to praise the Avant family for being pillars in the community.

“The Avant family’s contributions to the world of entertainment, and the communities across Los Angeles are unmatched,” he said. “There are no words to express our profound sorrow for this immense loss for Jacqueline’s husband, Clarence, their children and the entire Avant family.”

Jackie Avant was killed in a home invasion attempt on Tuesday night.  She was 81.

According to TMZ, the deadly incident occurred at the couple’s residence in Trousdale Estates, an affluent neighborhood near Beverly Hills. 

The site is reporting that the Beverly Hills Police Department received a call at 2:30 a.m. about a home invasion, and the caller stated that someone had been shot. When the police arrived, Mrs. Avant had already been rushed to a nearby hospital. 

Sources have said that Mr. Avant was also home at the time of the incident, but it is unclear if he was injured. 

The Avants were married for 54 years and have two children, Nicole and Alexander. Nicole Avant is the former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, and is married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos. 


Jackie Avant served as the president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group focused on child care in that underserved community. She was also on the board of directors of UCLA’s International Student Center, according to TMZ

Clarence Avant has been lauded as one of the most influential music men of the modern age, having paved roads as an artist manager, recording company founder-executive, broadcast executive, and more. He was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an Ahmet Ertegun Award honoree, a prize given to non-performing industry professionals beholden for their transformative impact on the creative development of the genre’s culture.

The Black Godfather, an acclaimed documentary about Avant’s life and career directed by Reginald Hudlin, premiered in June 2019 on Netflix, and was produced by Avant’s daughter. It features appearances from Barack Obama, Quincy Jones, L.A. Reid, Snoop Dogg, and a host of others.  

Tributes to Mrs. Avant have started to pour in on social media. Veteran journalist Donna Brazile wrote on Twitter, “Loved Ms Jackie. Sending love to the Avant family. If you love music, you know why this is really painful. Much love.”

Political strategist Jasmine Cannick shared: “Absolutely stunned at this news this morning. Another day in L.A., another tragic and senseless killing.”

Experts are stumped as to why violent crime incidents have increased in Los Angeles this year, with gun-violence homicides up nearly 30%.

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