Tyler Perry pledged his support for the family of Jackie Avant amid the investigation into her death Wednesday morning. Avant, the wife of former Motown head Clarence Avant, died of a gunshot wound after her home in Beverly Hills was invaded.
“My heart breaks for Clarence and Nicole and all the Avant family,” said the filmmaker in a statement posted to Twitter and Instagram. “This world can be so cruel and cold!! I have no idea what kind of sub-human could shoot an 81 year old woman, and in her own home.”
Perry then pledged that “every available resource will be used to find whoever is responsible for this awful nightmare. This is tremendously sad.”
At a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon, the Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed that they received a phone call from the Avant residence around 2:30 a.m. Once police and the Beverly Hills Fire Department arrived at the scene, the victim was transported to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died from a gunshot wound. Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook could not confirm or deny any information about the suspect or suspects, who had fled the scene before the police arrived.
Stainbrook said it was too early into the investigation to speculate about what motivated the killing, but said he did not think it was a “random” attack.
Jackie Avant was a prominent philanthropist and patron of the arts in the Beverly Hills community. Her daughter Nicole is the wife of Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos. IN 2019, Nicole produced “The Black Godfather,” a documentary about her father, who was inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame this year.
On social media, Perry was joined by tributes from public figures including Bill Clinton, Viola Davis film director Reggie Hudlin and Magic Johnson.
“Jackie Avant was a wonderful woman, a great partner to Clarence and mother to Alex and Nicole, an active citizen & a dear friend to Hillary and me for 30 years,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “She inspired admiration, respect & affection in everyone who knew her. We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed.
Johnson called her “the sweetest person you could ever meet,” and that “she had a beautiful soul, kind heart, & always had a kind word for everybody,” while Davis said her “heart goes out” to the Avant family.