Police think Avant may have been targeted.
“I don’t think it was a random attack, but I can’t speculate on it right now,” Beverly Hills Police Chief (BHPD) Mark Stainbrook said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Stainbrook added: “An investigation is underway.
Stainbrook also read a statement shared by the Avant family.
“Jacqueline is an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and 55-year Beverly Hills resident who has made an enormous contribution and positive impact on the arts community,” says Stainbrook. . “She will miss her family, friends and all the people she has helped throughout her wonderful life.”
The Avants married in 1967 and had two children together. Clarence Avant was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. He’s the subject of the 2019 documentary “The Black Godfather,” which examines his political influence, musical legacy, and work with musicians like Bill Withers and Babyface.
After learning of her death, leaders in the Los Angeles community paid tribute to Avant.
“I am deeply saddened by the news this morning of the tragic and shocking murder of Jacqueline Avant,” said Representative Karen Bass (D-CA). “Mrs Avant has been a force of compassion and empowerment locally and nationally for decades, and a role model in service and giving back to those who need it most.”
“Cookie and I are absolutely devastated to have lost one of our best friends Jackie Avant,” Magic Johnson tweeted. “This is the saddest day of our lives.”
CNN’s Sarah Moon contributed to this story.