Actor Michael Jace, 51, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Los Angeles Police Officer Julien Lowe in the TV drama “The Shield,” was arrested on the evening of May 19 and charged today with last night’s shooting death of his 40-year-old wife, April Jace. The husband dialed 911 on Monday night to report that his wife had suffered a gunshot wound, a shooting to which he apparently confessed.
CNN reported that by the time police arrived at Jace’s south Los Angeles home, the wife was already dead. According to a police press release shared by CNN, police listed the motive for April’s murder as domestic violence.
"I shot my wife," Jace told police after calling 911 Monday night, TMZ reported. He stayed on the line until police arrived, according to reports.
Detective Dean Vinluan said that neighbors in the vicinity of Jace’s Hyde Park home also called 911 to report a shooting. Vinluan added that April’s two children were in the home when her husband allegedly murdered his wife. The children were not injured and are now in the care of California's Department of Children Services.
Following his arrest last night, Jace was charged with homicide this morning. He’s currently in jail with a $1 million bail.
TMZ went on to report that prior to the shooting, Jace and his wife were arguing about financial matters. “The Shield” actor filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and owed $411,000 on the Hyde Park home in which his wife was murdered. TMZ reported that “Jace stopped paying his mortgage and was on the brink of a foreclosure sale.”
The actor also seems to have had a history of domestic violence incidents with his first wife, Jennifer Bitterman, who Jace reportedly choked and threw up against a wall while “his 6-month-old son screamed in his crib next to them.” According to a friend of Bitterman’s revealed through divorce documents, the actor physically assaulted his first wife on multiple occasions. Jace and Bitterman began divorce proceedings in 1997. Their divorce was finalized in 2002. Jace married April in 2003.
Fox News reported that April’s body is now in the care of the Los Angeles’ coroner office. An autopsy could be performed as early as Wednesday.
Jace appeared in 89 episodes of “The Shield.” He also had memorable roles in “The Replacements” and “Forrest Gump.” For more on the tragedy in Los Angeles, see the video accompanying this article.