Family of 'The Shield' actor Michael Jace's slain wife speaks out

The family of April Jace -- allegedly shot dead by her husband, "The Shield" actor Michael Jace -- pledged to take care of the couple's two sons, saying their hearts were "ripped out instantly" upon hearing of her death last month.

In an interview with KABC-TV on Wednesday, the same day the actor known for portraying a police officer on television pleaded not guilty to murdering April Jace, her family said they were trying to remember the good times and focus on the two sons she left behind.

“I’m doing my best to focus on all the good times and the memories that we had together," her mother, Kay Henry told the station. "Somehow, those memories can be reminders of a lifetime on Earth here without you, my dear daughter. And it’s tough, and I miss you very much.”

Michael Jace was arrested and booked on suspicion of killing his wife, who was shot multiple times at their Hyde Park home on May 19. Authorities said the actor called police to report the shooting.

The couple's children, both younger than 10, were inside the home when their mother was killed. Neither was harmed.

After Jace pleaded not guilty Wednesday, a judge issued a protective order for the boys preventing their father from contacting them except through his attorneys. He remained in custody in lieu of $2-million bail.

"I’m going to try to do right with the grandsons because they’re just good boys, and she did well with them; very good with them," April Jace's father, Carlos Henry, told KABC.

April Jace, 40, was a well-liked financial aid counselor at Biola University, an evangelical Christian college in La Mirada.

On the night of the shooting, neighbors reported seeing Michael Jace pull into the driveway, walk in and leave the front door ajar. A few minutes later, a neighbor heard popping sounds and took cover.

Police arrived to find an unarmed Jace standing in the doorway, his wife’s body visible in a hallway.

“My baby sister, April Jace, was a beautiful, strong woman," her brother, John, told the station. "We were all shocked to hear what happened to her, and all of our hearts were ripped out instantly."

Michael Jace had no arrest record, according to public records, but divorce papers from a previous marriage include allegations of threats and domestic violence.

The actor had been under financial strain for years, court records show. 

For breaking news in Los Angeles and the Southland, follow @Caitlin__Owens, or email her at caitlin.owens@latimes.com.