The suspect accused of shooting and killing Jacqueline Avant on Dec. 1 has now been charged with her murder. Jacqueline was the longtime wife of music legend Clarence Avant. Clarence is known as the “Godfather of Black music.”
Aside from her influence in the arts and entertainment, Jacqueline was a former model who was recognized for her work in philanthropy. She worked as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a group connected to the South Central Community Child Care Center.
Jacqueline also served as entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction and NOW membership, and was a member of the board of directors at UCLA’s International Student Center, per THR.
New information about the tragic murder is continuing to be revealed. Now, media outlets are reporting that Jacqueline was awake at the time of the burglary.
Jacqueline Avant reportedly shocked intruder during home invasion
Sources tell TMZ that Jacqueline’s family believes she was awake at home when an intruder shot and killed her. According to her family, Clarence was already asleep in the couple’s bedroom around 2 AM when his wife came face-to-face with the suspect.
The family says it was typical for Jacqueline to be awake late. The family believes Jacqueline and the intruder startled one another and that’s when he opened fire on her.
At the time of the break-in, security was patrolling the front of the house. The suspect appears to have entered from the side yard by breaking a sliding glass door. A guard heard a gunshot from inside, raced over, and then the suspect fired at him as well. The suspect fled the scene.
The suspect was arrested while reportedly trying to break into another home
Police arrested a man named Aariel Maynor. Maynor was reportedly taken into custody about an hour after the crime at the Avant’s home. They say he’s responsible for killing Jacqueline. Maynor was allegedly attempting another burglary in the Hollywood Hills. In the process, he apparently shot himself in the foot.
No one else is suspected to have been a participant with Maynor. Police say Maynor used an AR-15 style weapon in Jacqueline’s killing.
Maynor has been charged with murder, attempted murder, felony with a firearm as well as 2 counts of residential burglary with a person present. He was recently released from prison in September 2021 after serving a four-year sentence.
The Avant family suspected Jacqueline would survive the shooting
Sources tell TMZ that Jacqueline was shot in the stomach. She was allegedly alert and speaking with paramedics while being transported to the hospital. Her family is said to be stunned that she did not survive.
The Avant family shared a statement to USA TODAY, thanking everyone “for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline. Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, and philanthropist and a 55 year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community,” the statement reads. “She will be missed by her family, friends, and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”