Special Ed Teacher, Former Clown, Charged with Wife’s Murder

A Texas special education teacher, who previously performed as a clown named “Mister Jazzz,” has been accused of fatally shooting his wife while she was on a 911 call. The suspect, 37-year-old James Anderson, allegedly killed his 34-year-old wife, Victoria Anderson, on Sunday evening while their 3-year-old son was present in the home, according to authorities. The child was not harmed during the incident.

Anderson is the head of the Special Education Department at Santa Fe Middle School, where he has been employed since 2022. In his online biography on the school district’s website, Anderson described himself as a family man who enjoys yard work and reading when he’s not working.

Before his career in education, Anderson was a clown and balloon artist, performing under the stage name “Mister Jazzz” at children’s parties and public libraries. Online videos from nearly ten years ago show Anderson in his signature outfit, a red shirt, black vest, and red bowler hat, demonstrating how to make balloon animals. He also owned a party entertainment business under the names “Mister Jazzz” and “Mr. Jazzz the Clown,” as per business records.

The tragic incident began to unfold around 5 p.m. on Sunday when Victoria Anderson called 911, reporting that her husband was threatening to shoot her, according to a statement from the City of Houston. The 911 operator reportedly heard a gunshot while on the call with Victoria.

Police officers arrived at the scene and ordered Anderson to exit the house. He refused but allowed his young son to leave. A SWAT team and hostage negotiators were then called in, spending the next five hours trying to persuade Anderson to surrender, which he eventually did.

Upon entering the house, police found Victoria Anderson dead from a gunshot wound. The couple’s son was taken to a hospital for observation before being released to family members. Authorities are still investigating the motive behind the killing, but there have been previous reports of domestic issues at the home, and the couple may have been in the process of divorcing.

Anderson was arrested and charged with murder on Monday. His bond was set at $300,000 by a judge on Tuesday, and he is scheduled to appear in court again on December 13. The Cleveland Independent School District confirmed Anderson’s arrest and stated that he has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.