BEVERLY HILLS/HOLLYWOOD HILLS—The Beverly Hills Police Department made an arrest in the December 1 homicide of Jacqueline Avant, 81. Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles has been arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of philanthropist and wife of music executive Clarence Avant, 90.
Multiple surveillance videos, including city cameras, showed the suspect’s vehicle heading eastbound out of Beverly Hills shortly after Mrs. Avant was shot early Wednesday morning.
At 3:30 a.m., LAPD Hollywood Division responded to a reported shooting at a residence in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive. Upon arrival, they found a male in the backyard suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot. Following a thorough investigation by LAPD, it was determined that a burglary occurred at that home, and the suspect accidentally shot himself in the foot. He was subsequently arrested by the LAPD and transported to a local hospital and has been in law enforcement custody since.
Detectives from the Beverly Hills Police Department responded to the LAPD Hollywood Division and collected evidence connecting Maynor to the murder of Jacqueline Avant, including the suspected weapon. Beverly Hills detectives assumed investigative responsibility for both cases. The investigation leads the BHPD to believe there is no further threat to public safety. The evidence at the moment shows that only one suspect was involved in the crime and the motive remains under investigation.
“To the Beverly Hills Community, let me reassure you, this is one of the most protected and patrolled cities in the world. Crime of any kind will not be tolerated here. Let this be a message to anyone thinking of committing a crime in Beverly Hills – you will be caught and brought to justice,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook.
At 2:23 a.m., the Beverly Hills Police Communications Center received a phone call regarding a shooting that occurred on the 1100 block of Maytor Place.
Police units arrived and discovered a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspect was longer at the scene.
Clarence Avant was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His wife was fatally shot after Maynor broke into the home after breaking through a glass sliding door.
“This is a difficult day for our City. 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,” Chief Mark Stainbrook said.
“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.
Clarence had been married to Jacqueline for 54 years, where they share two children Nicole and Alexander. Jacqueline was rushed to the hospital to be treated for injuries sustained during the shooting, but died at the hospital. Jacqueline served as the president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for those of the South Central Community Care Center in 1975. She also served on the board of directors for the International Student Center at UCLA.
Clarence was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and got his start in the music business in the 1950s as the manager of a lounge in New Jersey. He managed a host of musicians including Little Willie John, Kim Weston and Tom Wilson to name a few. He worked with Venture Records Inc., Sussex Records Inc., and purchased the first Black FM radio station in Los Angeles in March 1973. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2016. He has been coined by many in the music industry as “The Black Godfather.”
Maynor will be booked into jail when medically cleared by doctors.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at 310-288-2656. Anonymous reports can be made by text to TIP BEVHILLSPD followed by the tip information to 888777. Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. To access Crime Stoppers, download the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP or use the website http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.