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Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, Wife Of Motown Legend Clarence Avant, Murdered In Home Invasion

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."

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