‘Shield’ Actor Michael Jace Fatally Shoots Wife [UPDATE]

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  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say actor Michael Jace is charged with homicide after his wife was found shot to death in their home. Reports say Jace called 911 himself told them he shot his wife and then stayed on the line with dispatchers until police arrived.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that city police arrived at the couple’s home in the Hyde Park neighborhood around 8:30 p.m. Monday and that 40-year-old April Jace was found dead inside. The shooting took place in front of the couple’s two young sons, who were taken to relatives.

    Detective Sal LaBarbera tells KNBC-TV that Michael Jace is a suspect and that police are not looking for other suspects.

    Jace is being held on a million dollars bail.

    The 50-year-old Jace plays a police officer in the TV series “The Shield” and had roles in “Forrest Gump” and “Planet of the Apes.”

    The couple were married nine years and have children. New reports say that Jace was abusive to his first wife Jennifer Bitterman. A friend testified in the couple’s custody trial that she saw the actor assault Bitterman in front of their infant son.

    According to CNN, Jace “choked and hit” his wife and “slammed her against the wall while (their infant son) screamed in his crib next to her,” Maria De Le Vegas testified in the 2005 case.

    De Le Vegas said “was raging and out of control, and seeing the extent of his anger was one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen.”

    Police say Jace was experiencing financial problems. He declared bankruptcy in 2011, owed $22,000 in back taxes to the IRS, and had defaulted on the mortgage of his $411,000 L.A. home where the shooting took place.

    April Jace was a financial aid counselor at Biola University in La Miranda, California. Her colleagues there issued statements today.

    April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the financial aid office,” financial aid director Geoff Marsh said. “Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her coworkers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all.”

    “We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend,” Biola President Barry Corey said.

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    (Photo Source: PR Photos)

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