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Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant


The Beverly Hills Police Department announced at a press conference on Thursday that it has made an arrest in the murder of Jacqueline Avant.

A philanthropist and the wife of Motown legend Clarence Avant, she was murdered at the couple's home on Dec. 1.

Aariel Maynor, 29, is the suspect in custody. Multiple surveillance videos showed the suspect’s vehicle heading eastbound out of Beverly Hills shortly after Avant was shot early Wednesday morning.

According to the BHPD, it was Maynor's greed and bad aim that led to his downfall.  

Aariel Maynor, 29, is the suspect in custody. Multiple surveillance videos showed the suspect’s vehicle heading eastbound out of Beverly Hills shortly after Avant was shot early Wednesday morning.

According to the BHPD, it was Maynor's greed and bad aim that led to his downfall.

After the fatal attack on Avant in Beverly Hills, he drove to the Hollywood Hills and attempted to break into another home, somehow shooting himself in the foot with an AR-15 in the process.

A statement by the department read, "Beverly Hills detectives responded to Hollywood division and collected evidence connecting Maynor to the homicide of Jacqueline Avant in our city, including the suspected weapon. Beverly Hills detectives have assumed investigative responsibility for both cases. The investigation leads us to believe there is no further threat to public safety. The evidence thus far shows that only one suspect was involved in the crime and the motive remains under investigation."

Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Steinbrook added, "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."

Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend Clarence Avant, fatally shot in Beverly Hills home

Celebrities and dignitaries came out in droves to offer their condolences today after Jacqueline "Jackie" Avant, a Los Angeles philanthropist and the wife of former Motown boss Clarence Avant, was shot and killed in an apparent home invasion early Wednesday morning. 

According to reporting by TMZ which broke the story initially, Avant, 81, was shot when at least one intruder broke into the Trousdale Estates home she shared with her husband and targeted her. Clarence, 90, was also home but not injured in the melee.

The Beverly Hills Police Department released a statement saying that its communications center received a phone call shortly before 2:30 a.m. regarding a shooting that had just occurred on the 1100 block of Maytor Place. Police units arrived and discovered a victim with a gunshot wound. The suspect or suspects were no longer on the scene. Beverly Hills Fire Department paramedics transported the victim to a local hospital where she was declared dead.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon Beverly Hills Police Chief, Mark Stainbrook, revealed that she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where she later died and said it was too soon to classify the incident as a home invasion or a follow-home robbery.

“The motives in this case are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives,” Stainbrook said. “We will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not.”

He did confirm that Clarence Avant and a security guard were home at the time of the shooting and that no one else was injured but offered little new information on the case.

Avant was known for her decades of support of charitable causes in the area, particularly her support of the UCLA International Student Center. She was a former president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center, and entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction.

Her husband is widely regarded as the “Godfather of Black Music” for helping launch the careers of Quincy Jones, Bill Withers and many other notables in the music industry, as well as the friendship and guidance he offered for athletic icons like Muhammad Ali and Hank Aaron.

In 2019 Netflix released a documentary about his exploits and impact on the music scene called "The Black Godfather."

Lee Elder, who broke the race barrier at the Masters, dies at 87

Photo Courtesy Lee Elder Foundation — November 2020: Lee Elder being honored at the 2020 Masters Tournament

Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, is dead at the age of 87.

The PGA Tour announced his passing on its official Twitter Monday, noting that this past April he was honored for his accomplishments at Augusta National, and his legacy will surely live on.

No official cause of death was listed, but Elder had been reportedly in poor health in recent years. During his appearance at the Masters in April he wore a visible oxygen tube. The Tour said he died early Sunday in Escondido, California.

His contemporary, and one of the greatest golfers to ever walk the greens, Jack Nicklaus responded to the death on Twitter writing, "Lee was a good player, but most important, a good man who was very well respected by countless people. The game of golf lost a hero in Lee Elder.''

A native Texan, Elder did not play a full round of 18 holes until he was 16 and learned the game while caddying when most courses were segregated. Following his history-making turn at the formerly all-white Masters, which he qualified for by winning the Monsanto Open, he notched three more career PGA wins. In 1979 he became the first African American to qualify for play in the Ryder Cup.