Jackie Avant Death: Suspect Caught After Shooting Himself During Second Robbery

The philanthropist and wife of former Motown boss Clarence Avant was fatally shot in her home Wednesday

Jacqueline Avant and Clarence Avant (Getty Images)
Jacqueline Avant and Clarence Avant (Getty Images)

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Beverly Hills philanthropist Jackie Avant, authorities said Thursday.

The man, identified as 29-year-old Los Angeles resident Aariel Maynor, was taken into custody near Hollywood earlier Wednesday morning after apparently shooting himself while burglarizing a second home, Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. An AR-15 style weapon was recovered when Maynor was arrested.

“He has an extensive criminal record, he’s on parole,” Stainbrook told reporters.

Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested Maynor after responding to the scene of the second burglary — about an hour after Avant was fatally shot in nearby Beverly Hills, according to Stainbrook.

“At 3:30 a.m., LAPD Hollywood division responded to a reported shooting at a residence in the 6000 block of
Graciosa Drive,” Beverly Hills police said in press release. “Following a thorough investigation by LAPD, it was determined that a burglary occurred at that residence, and the suspect had accidentally shot himself in the foot.”

Maynor was taken to a hospital for medical treatment and will be booked when he is medically cleared, authorities said Thursday.

Beverly Hills police said they used surveillance footage to connect Maynor to the Avant shooting. Ballistics tests will be performed on the weapon that was recovered to determine if it was used in the Beverly Hills case.

Beverly Hills detectives are taking the lead on both cases, authorities said.

The Avant shooting was reported at 2:23 a.m. Wednesday, in the 1100 block of Maytor Place. Paramedics transported Avant to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where the 81-year-old was pronounced dead.

Jackie’s husband, former Motown boss Clarence Avant, is widely regarded as the “Godfather of Black Music” for helping to launch the careers of a long list of music stars, including Quincy Jones and Bill Withers.

Jackie Avant’s daughter, Nicole Avant, served as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas during President Barack Obama’s administration, and is the wife of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. Nicole co-produced a 2019 Netflix documentary about her father’s life titled “The Black Godfather.”

The Avant and Sarandos families thanked members of the law enforcement community for their work in the case.

“Our deepest gratitude to The City of Beverly Hills, the BHPD and all law enforcement for their diligence on this matter.
Now, let justice be served,” the families said in a statement Thursday.

A motive in the Beverly Hills shooting has not yet been determined. However, the city’s police chief tried to assure residents that the city is safe.

“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,” Stainbrook said Thursday.