“We are very pleased to announce today that we have arrested a suspect in the murder of one of our beloved Beverly Hills residents,” Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook announced in a briefing Thursday.
Multiple surveillance videos showed the suspect’s vehicle left the affluent area of Avant after the shooting, Stainbrook said.
The 29-year-old suspect has an extensive criminal history and has been released on parole, according to the police.
Avant was shot and killed early Wednesday morning at the couple’s Beverly Hills home. Her husband and a private security guard were at the house at the time of the shooting, police said.
Los Angeles Police Department responded to a separate burglary report about an hour after the shooting at the Avant residence and found a man in the backyard of a Hollywood home seeking help for a gunshot wound. According to police, he told rescuers that he accidentally shot himself in the foot.
Police recovered a weapon of the same caliber that was used in the shooting of Ms Avant. LAPD said the gun was an AR-15 rifle.
Stainbrook, who was sworn in as chief just two days ago, gave no motive for Avant’s shooting, saying it was too early in the investigation to speculate. On Wednesday, he said the shooting did not seem random.
“Jacqueline was an amazing wife, wife, mother, philanthropist and 55-year-old resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact to the arts community,” the Avant family said in a statement Wednesday. “She will be missed by her family, friends and all the people she has helped during her amazing life.”
Jacqueline and Clarence Avant married in 1967 and had two children together, Nicole and Alexander. Clarence Avant was the subject of the 2019 documentary ‘The Black Godfather’, which looked at his political influence, musical legacy and work with musicians such as Bill Withers and Babyface.
Nicole Avant is married to Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
The news of Avant’s death shocked the music world and beyond, prompting condolences from basketball greats Magic Johnson to former President Bill Clinton.
NewsMadura’s Stella Chan contributed to this report.