COSTA MESA – A 48-year-old man is being accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend of three years over after the two began arguing about a joint business.Police said Thomas Michael Wilhelm shot his live-in girlfriend several times in a bedroom of their home Sunday evening, then tried to shoot himself with a shotgun.
Costa Mesa Police officials believe the shotgun misfired as officers arrived at the house along the 2900 block of Redwood Ave. According to a statement released by police, Wilhelm was not injured and was taken into custody.
Additional details into the shooting were released Monday morning by the Costa Mesa Police. Wilhelm is being held in Men's Central Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department, which oversees the county coroner, identified the victim as 45-year-old Christine Marie Murray.
Police were called to the Redwood Avenue home before 6:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a man with a gun, threatening his girlfriend inside the home.
When officers arrived, they heard what sounded like a single gun shot.
Murray was found in a bedroom of the home with several gun shot wounds to the chest.
Paramedics were called and Murray was taken to Western Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Wilhelm was found in the backyard of the house, the statement read.
"The relationship had soured considerably over the past two years, primarily as a result of differences over a small business they both shared," according to the statement.
Police recovered a small-caliber handgun at the home.Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Costa Mesa Police at 714-754-5205.