While shocked tributes were pouring in for the slain wife of legendary “The Godfather of Black Music,” Jackie Avant, Beverly Hills Police were hard at work putting together the pieces of the fatal home invasion.
According to yesterday’s media release, the Beverly Hills Police communications center received a phone call at 2:23 a.m. in response to a shooting that had just occurred in Trousdale Estates, a posh community in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains.
Celebrity residents have included Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Ray Charles, Howard Hughes, and Groucho Marx. Late President Richard Nixon also lived there. More recently, Jennifer Aniston, David Spade, Zoë de Givenchy, Vera Wang, John Rich, Jane Fonda, Richard Perry, Markus Persson, Ringo Starr, Simon Cowell, and Charlie Puth have lived in the neighborhood
When police units arrived, they discovered Mrs. Avant, whom was not named in the report, with a gunshot wound. BH Fire Department paramedics transported her to a Cedars-Sinai, but she did not survive. Husband Clarence was not injured.
Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook, who was just sworn in the day before, held a press conference for reporters yesterday at 2 PM.
“This is a difficult day for our city,” Stainbrook began. “First and foremost, on behalf of our entire department, Our City Council and community, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family in this case.”
He later insinuated the couple may have been deliberately targeted, rather than the victim of random thugs.
“I don’t think it’s a random attack, but I can’t speculate on that right now,” Stainbrook continued.” He said at the time of the shooting, Clarence Avant and a security guard were home, and that no one else was injured. The suspect or suspects, he said, are still at large.
He added, “Obviously, someone went into the home, we just don’t know what the purpose was… a lot of times people think home invasion when it comes to robbing or burglarizing a residence. … I think there are a lot of nuances to the term home invasion.”
The street leading to the Avant’s home is taped off as police investigate possible motivea. Stainbrook said it was too soon to classify the shooting as a home invasion. “We will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not,” he said.
The Police Chief also read a statement shared by the Avant family: “Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 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 of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”
Footage from the scene showed a shattered sliding glass door, and according to The Los Angeles Times, at least one suspect got into the home before gunshots rang out. But it was not clear how many were involved.
It is unclear if anything was actually taken during the invasion. Police have said both Clarence Avant and a security guard were at home at the time, though they were unharmed.
Tributes Pour in
From former President Bill Clinton to Earvin “Magic” Johnson, tributes from around the country poured in for the elegant philanthropist, who also served as President of the Neighbors of Watts. Avant was on the board of the International Student Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.