Actor Michael Jace, known for playing a Christian police officer on the popular television series "The Shield," was booked for the alleged murder of his wife, a Biola University employee, who was shot multiple times in their Los Angeles home Monday night, possibly in front of the couple's young children.
April Jace's dead body was found by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who were responding to phone calls from neighbors who reported hearing gun shots. A local news station reports that neighbors said they heard arguing coming from the couple's home before hearing gun shots.
Michael Jace, 51, initially was taken to a police station for questioning, but later booked for murder, which police believe may have been triggered by domestic violence. Jace was being held Tuesday on $1 million bail.
Biola University, where April Jace, 40, had worked as a counselor since March of last year, issued a statement Tuesday upon learning of her death.
"We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend. The Biola family will stand with this precious family and the employees who are grieving today, and my prayer is that the God of all comfort will be our refuge and peace," stated university president Barry H. Corey.
Jace, who frequently portrayed law enforcement officials in his television series ("Southland," "CSI" and "The Shield"), had been married to the victim for nine years. The couple shared two young children, two boys reportedly under the age of 10, who were home at the time of the shooting. It was unclear if the boys witnessed the shooting of their mother, although a police officer told local media they most certainly heard the gun shots.
"It's a grieving process for both children. They're without their mom and their dad is in jail for the murder of their mother," said LAPD detective Sal LaBarbera, according to KNBC-TV.
It was unclear if a third child, from Jace's previous marriage, also was home at the time of the murder.
Read the statement from Biola University below, followed by the news release from the Los Angeles Police Department:
The Biola University community has received word, with deep sadness, of the tragic death of one of our employees, April Jace, who had worked as a counselor in the Financial Aid Office since March 2013.
The Biola family grieves the loss of a colleague and friend, and mourns along with her family.
"We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend," said Biola president Barry H. Corey. "The Biola family will stand with this precious family and the employees who are grieving today, and my prayer is that the God of all comfort will be our refuge and peace."
Our community is in prayer for April's family and the Financial Aid Office as they deal with the shock of this tragedy. The Financial Aid Office will be closed all day on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
"April's radiant personality brought great energy to the Financial Aid Office," said Geoff Marsh, senior director of financial aid. "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."
Via the Los Angele Police Department:
Los Angeles Police Department Criminal Gang and Homicide Division Detectives are investigating the murder of 40-year-old April Jace.
On Monday May 19, 2014, around 8:30 p.m., officers from 77th Area Police Station responded to a shots fired call in the 5400 block of Brynhurst Avenue in the city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced Mrs. Jace deceased at the scene.
During the investigation, officers detained 51-year-old Michael Jace and transported him to 77th Area Station for questioning. Mr. Jace was later booked for 187 (a) PC-Murder at 77th Area Jail with booking number 3976238. His Bail amount is set at $1,000,000.00.
At this moment the motive of the murder is believed to be domestic violence.
Watch a local news report on the Jace case in the video player below: