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Special ed teacher and ex-clown accused of killing wife as she was on 911 call begging for help

A special education teacher from Texas — who used to perform as a clown known as “Mister Jazzz” — has been charged with shooting and killing his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher.

James Anderson, 37, allegedly gunned down 34-year-old Victoria Anderson Sunday night while the couple’s 3-year-old son was in the house with them, officials said.

The child escaped unharmed.

Anderson served as chair of the Special Education Department at Santa Fe Middle School, where he has worked since 2022.

“When I’m not busy working, I love hanging out with my family,” Anderson wrote in his online biography on the school district’s website. “I also like doing stuff in my yard, but not when it’s insanely hot outside! Another thing I’m really into is reading.”

But before he embarked on a career in education, Anderson worked as a clown and balloon artist performing under the pseudonym “Mister Jazzz” at children’s parties and public libraries.

Videos from nearly a decade ago that are still available online show Anderson in his signature red shirt, black vest and red bowler hat doing balloon animal tutorials.

He had previously owned a party entertainment business under the names “Mister Jazzz” and “Mr. Jazzz the Clown,” according to business records reviewed by The US Sun.

A still-active LinkedIn page for James Anderson lists him as the owner of “Mister Jazzz” in Tyler, Texas.

The harrowing incident involving the former clown-turned-teacher began unfolding just before 5 p.m. Sunday, when Anderson’s wife dialed 911 to report that her husband was threatening to shoot her, according to a statement from the City of Houston.

“The call-taker reported hearing a gunshot while on the phone with the woman,” the statement said.

Police officers raced to the scene in the 4300 block of Vista Ridge Drive and ordered the husband to exit the home.

Anderson refused to step outside but allowed his toddler son to leave.

SWAT team members and hostage negotiators then arrived and spent the next five hours trying to talk the holed-up suspect into surrendering.

He ultimately gave himself up without further incident.

Police then entered the house and found Victoria Anderson dead from a gunshot wound.

The couple’s son was taken to a hospital for observation before being released into the care of family members, reported the station KHOU11.

Authorities said they do not know what exactly led to the killing, but there were previous reports of domestic problems at the home, and the couple may have been going through a divorce.

Anderson was booked Monday into the Harris County Jail on a count of murder.

On Tuesday, a judge set his bond at $300,000. He is due back in court on Dec. 13.

The Cleveland Independent School District on Monday confirmed Anderson’s arrest.

“Cleveland ISD is deeply saddened to hear of the tragic domestic violence situation involving one of the staff members at Santa Fe Middle School, James Anderson,” the district said in a statement. 

“Mr. Anderson has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.”