Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant during Beverly Hills home invasion: Police

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Friday, December 3, 2021
Man arrested in killing of Jacqueline Avant in Beverly Hills
A parolee with a long criminal background has been arrested for the killing of Jacqueline Avant in a Beverly Hills home invasion.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A parolee with an extensive criminal record was arrested for a Beverly Hills home invasion and shooting that resulted in the death of Jacqueline Avant, wife of a famed music executive, police announced Thursday.

The Beverly Hills Police Department identified the suspect as 29-year-old Aariel Maynor of Los Angeles.

They say Maynor is a parolee with a long criminal history. He was caught after apparently accidentally shooting himself in the foot with an AR-15 while committing another break-in just an hour after allegedly killing Avant.

Beverly Hills officers were called to the Avants' home in the 1100 block of Maytor Place around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning after a reported shooting. Officers found the 81-year-old with a gunshot wound. Avant was taken to the hospital but was later pronounced dead.

About one hour later, officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood division responded to another shooting call in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive, where they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot.

Investigators later determined that Maynor was involved in a burglary at that home and had accidentally shot himself with an AR-15. Further investigation tied him to Avant's death, according to a press release. The caliber of the weapon matched the bullets found at the Avant murder scene.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark G. Stainbrook said there were multiple surveillance videos that showed Maynor's vehicle heading eastbound out of Beverly Hills shortly after the shooting.

Police believe Maynor acted alone and a motive remains unclear.

After the arrest was announced, the Avant and Sarandos families released a statement thanking police. (Clarence and Jackie Avant's daughter, Nicole, is married to Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix.)

"Our deepest gratitude to The City of Beverly Hills, the BHPD and all law enforcement for their diligence on this matter," the statement read. "Now, let justice be served."

Avant, known affectionately as "Jackie," was well-known and well-respected for her philanthropy over the years.

Her husband, Clarence Avant, was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was also the subject of a 2019 Netflix documentary "The Black Godfather," which highlighted his influence in the music industry.

Stainbrook confirmed there was a private security guard on the property at the time, but it was not clear how that individual may have interacted with the suspect.

On Wednesday, Stainbrook read a statement from the Avant family:

"The entire Avant family wishes to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and condolences for Jacqueline Avant. Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has held throughout her amazing life."