LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jace projected the image of a doting, hands-on father and husband to neighbors, but authorities say they are now trying to determine what prompted the veteran actor to apparently shoot and kill his wife while their young sons were in the home.
Jace shot his wife multiple times after she returned home with their children on Monday evening, according to police. He called 911 and told a police dispatcher what he did and stepped out of the home just as officers arrived to find April, his wife of nearly 11 years, dead in the hallway. The handgun, which detectives believe belonged to the actor, was recovered from the home, and the couple's sons were handed over to relatives after Jace was taken into custody.
Jace, who played a police officer in the hit FX series "The Shield," remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail, and investigators are expected Wednesday to continue their investigation and prepare a murder case that will likely be filed against the actor on Thursday. An autopsy will be performed on April Jace on Wednesday, and Los Angeles Police Detective Dean Vinluan said investigators will be reviewing multiple 911 calls about the shooting to help build their case.
Vinluan said there had been no reports of domestic violence at the Jaces' household, although detectives would examine whether financial or other marital problems were a motive.
The family's next-door neighbor, Shirley Harding, said she heard at least three gunshots Monday evening. It was the first time she said she heard any violence coming from the home in the modest and normally quiet Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
"I never heard arguments," she said. "I just heard happiness over there."
Despite a career that included steady but small acting roles in films such as "Planet of the Apes," ''Boogie Nights" and "Forrest Gump" and the TV series "Southland," Jace had been experiencing financial difficulties for several years. In 2011 he filed for bankruptcy protection, listing between $500,000 and $1 million in debts, including the Hyde Park home.