A beloved philanthropist, a music legend and a shocking killing in Beverly Hills

LA Times via MSN News

She was the quiet philanthropist, an elegant, behind-the-scenes force. He is a music industry legend, the “Black Godfather” with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Early Wednesday morning, at least one suspect with a gun entered the Beverly Hills home of Jacqueline and Clarence Avant. Moments later, Jacqueline lay fatally wounded by a gunshot and Clarence was bereft. During a brief news conference just a day after he was sworn in, Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook remained tight-lipped. He declined to divulge the number of suspects involved, who — if anyone — witnessed the attack, or whether it was the latest in a string of violent robberies targeting the rich and famous in and around Los Angeles. “The motives in this case are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives,” Stainbrook told reporters about 12 hours after the attack. “We will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not.” What was clear, however, was the impact the Avants have had during their long life together, on politics and sports and entertainment, on goals as lofty as civil rights and as humble as getting bikes to disadvantaged children. Tributes flowed — shocked and tender — throughout the day Wednesday. “When you think about the family, total, as well as Jackie herself, I love them, respect them, hold them in the highest regard because of what they meant as a family, especially in the world and especially in Black America,” Magic Johnson said in an interview. “They are like royalty in a sense, because of what they have been able to do to help other people achieve their goals and dreams.”

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