Police identified the suspect as a Los Angeles resident, 29-year-old Aariel Maynor, who officials said was on parole and had an extensive criminal record. The suspect was arrested a short time after the shooting, during a second apparent burglary in the Hollywood Hills, according to police.
Officers first responded to a report of a shooting at the Avant home in the upscale Trousdale Estates neighborhood around 2:23 a.m. Wednesday in the 1100 block of Maytor Place.
They arrived to find 81-year-old Jacqueline Avant suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department.
Shortly after the shooting, multiple surveillance videos caught the suspect’s vehicle heading east out of Beverly Hills, police chief Mark Stainbrook said during a news briefing.
At 3:30 a.m., Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to a report of a shooting at a home in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive in the Hollywood Hills. When they arrived, they found Maynor in the backyard suffering from a gunshot wound to his foot. He had apparently accidentally shot himself in the foot during a burglary, Stainbrook said.
He was arrested by LAPD and taken to a local hospital for treatment before he was connected as the suspect to Avant’s shooting.
“We had an astute watch commander in Hollywood that started to put two and two together and reached out to Beverly Hills,” an LAPD Deputy Chief Blake Chow said during the news briefing.
At the Hollywood Hills scene, an AR-15 rifle was found in the backyard, according to police.
Stainbrook said that it was too early to speculate on a motive in the Beverly Hills incident.
“The motives, in this case, are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives. And we will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not,” the police chief previously said in a news conference on Wednesday.
Stainbrook said evidence so far shows that only one suspect was involved in the shooting, which remains under investigation. Jacqueline Avant previously served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group for the South Central Community Child Care Center.
She was also on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA, according to IMDB.
Her husband, Clarence Avant, is a famed record executive who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year and is known as the Godfather of Black Music.