Neighbors in an affluent Beverly Hills neighborhood reportedly hired armed security out of concern over recent crimes a week before Jacqueline Avant, wife of music executive Clarence Avant, was fatally shot in her Beverly Hills home.
Residents of Trousdale Estate in Beverly Hills got together last week and hired a private security team to patrol the area, TMZ reported. The guards, however, were not on duty when Avant was fatally shot in what appears to be a home invasion on Tuesday morning, according to the report.
The Beverly Hills Police Department also hired private security to surveil the area, according to TMZ, while neighbors individually hired armed guards after the fatal shooting, according to the report.
Jacqueline Avant, left, and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 22, 2020. She was fatally shot early Wednesday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
“There have been two break-ins nearby in the last few weeks but nothing like this,” one unidentified neighbor told The Sun of the shooting.
“We were with the police all night long,” the neighbor added.
Police have not released a motive in the case. Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook did say at a press conference that he didn’t “think it’s a random attack.”
Clarence Avant and a security guard were also home during the attack, Stainbrook said. No one else was injured. Clarence Avant is a celebrated music executive who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame just this year.
The incident comes after “follow-home robberies” in Los Angeles increased in recent weeks. The Beverly Hills Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment if Avant’s death is being investigated in connection to the follow-home robberies.
Los Angeles cityscape at dusk (iStock)
Suspects in the follow-home robberies target victims in affluent areas of Los Angeles, follow them until they are in a remote area and rob them. The announced a “Follow Home Task Force” on Nov. 23 in response to the crimes. In one case last month, the robbery turned into homicide.
“We’ve actually seen what we believe this morning is related to this, with this murder in Hollywood outside a restaurant,” Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told reporters in November following a fatal shooting of a 23-year-old man. “A practice of individuals that are copy-catting a technique of targeting the individuals with high-value jewelry, high-value cars, to follow them off or to confront them as they exit … high-end retailers and restaurants for the street robbery.”
A police officer walks down Maytor Place in the Trousdale Estates section of Beverly Hills, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music legend Clarence Avant, was fatally shot in the neighborhood early Wednesday. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Authorities have issued warnings to residents of Los Angeles over the crime. They have also said the trend is similar to the “knock-knock” burglaries in the city two years ago, when suspects would knock on the doors of homes to determine if anyone was inside. If no one answered, the suspects would enter the homes through a backdoor or balcony, and rob the house of weapons, money, and other high-value items.
Beverly Hills police officers responded to the Avants’ home just before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday where they found Jacqueline shot.
She was transported to the hospital and died. No suspects have been arrested and police are asking the public to come forward if they have any information on the case.
“This is a difficult day for our City. First and foremost, on behalf of our entire department, our City Council and community, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family in this case,” Stainbrook said.
“I want to reassure the Beverly Hills community that your City remains one of the safest in the nation. Crime of any type will not be tolerated in our City and we will not rest until the suspects or suspect in this case are brought to justice,” he added.