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Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend Clarence Avant, fatally shot at home

Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend Clarence Avant, fatally shot at home
Jacqueline Avant (L) was fatally shot at her home in Beverly Hills early Wednesday. Photo by Nina Prommer/EPA-EFE

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old wife of famed music executive Clarence Avant, was fatally shot at her Beverly Hills home in what police say was not a random act of violence.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that officers responded to a call about a shooting in the 1100 block of Maytor Place at 2:23 a.m. with officers arriving on the scene to find Jacqueline suffering from a gunshot wound and the suspect or suspects no longer on the premises.

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Stainbrook said the investigation is ongoing and they will not speculate on possible motives but added that "I don't think it's a random attack."

"Obviously, someone went into the home. We just don't know what the purpose was or what the motive was behind it," he said.

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A security guard and Clarence were on the premises at the time of the shooting, he said, adding no one else at the house was injured.

"The Avant family's contributions to the world of entertainment and to better communities across Los Angeles are unmatched," he said. "There are no words to express for our profound sorrow for this immense loss for Jacqueline's husband, Clearnce, their children and the entire Avant family."

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The family issued a statement read by Stainbrook stating 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."

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"She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life," her family said.

Clarence was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May of this year for his influence on music and was the subject of the Netflix documentary The Black Godfather.

Their daughter, Nicole Avant, is the wife to Netflix chief executive Ted Sarandos.

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Former President Bill Clinton issued a statement calling Jacqueline "a dear friend" of his and Hillary Clinton for some 30 years.

"She inspired admiration, respect and affection in everyone who knew her," he said. "We are heartbroken. She will be deeply missed."

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said she was also "heartbroken" by the news of Jacqueline's death.

"Mrs. Avant was a force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, as well as a model of service and giving back to those who needed it most," she said in a statement.

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Notable deaths of 2021

Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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