Jacqueline Avant died Wednesday after being shot at her Beverly Hills home that she shared with her husband, music icon Clarence Avant, police confirmed. The 81-year-old was transported to a local hospital but did not survive.
“The Entire Avant and Sarandos families wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline Avant,” the Avant and Sarandos families said in a statement to CBS News. “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. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”
Authorities said they received a call just before 2:30 a.m. about a shooting in the 1100 block of Maytor Place. When they arrived, police discovered a woman, later identified as Avant, had been shot. No suspects were still at the scene and no one has been arrested.
The Avants had a security guard at their home at the time of the shooting, authorities said.
“This is a difficult day for our City. First and foremost, on behalf of our entire department, our City Council and community, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family in this case,” Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a press release Wednesday.
A motive was not announced, but the chief said at a press briefing on Wednesday that he does not believe the shooting was random. The incident remains under investigation.
“I want to reassure the Beverly Hills community that your City remains one of the safest in the nation. Crime of any type will not be tolerated in our City and we will not rest until the suspects or suspect in this case are brought to justice,” Stainbrook said.
Avant was a longtime philanthropist who helped low-income neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area, and was on the board of directors of the International Student Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.
The Avants have a daughter, Nicole Avant, and a son, Alexander Du Bois Avant. Nicole is a film producer and former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, according to the AP. She is married to Netflix co-CEO and COO Ted Sarandos.
Clarence Avant is known as the “Godfather of Black Music” and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Grammy-winning 90-year-old was also a concert promoter and manager who mentored and helped the careers of artists including Bill Withers, Little Willie John, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the AP reported.
Tributes to Avant poured in on social media throughout the day Wednesday.