VANCOUVER - The first question Stephanie Moseley's former dance teacher asked the Vancouver-born actress when the cable TV star last dropped by her old studio was about her gleaming engagement ring.
"She said, 'If you look him up, don't judge him by his music,'" Rachel Poirier recalled Moseley quickly defending her then-fiancee, a Los Angeles rapper named Earl Hayes.
"I said, 'He's nice?' And she said 'Yeah, he's nice. His music doesn't reflect his personality.'"
Three years later, Moseley, 30, and her estranged husband Hayes, 34, were both found fatally shot in what the L.A. Police Department had initially concluded was a murder-suicide.
The U.S. authorities said in a statement that patrol officers responded to a call for a possible shooting about 7:30 a.m. Monday at a California luxury apartment complex. Officers heard more shots being fired as they arrived. Tactical police found two bodies inside.
An early investigation revealed the pair were trying to reconcile in the days before Hayes apparently shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself, Det. Scott Masterson said on Tuesday.
Friends of Moseley from British Columbia are now joining the outpouring of dismay on social media about the death by domestic violence, which shows up as a general theme alongside other lyrics degrading women in several of Hayes' songs.
Poirier, who taught Moseley jazz and contemporary dance between the ages of 12 and 18 in Metro Vancouver, recalled the raw, unassuming talent of a young ballerina who grew into a friend with a successful dance and acting career.
Moseley was most recently featured in 12 episodes of the American VH1 drama series "Hit the Floor," about a professional basketball dance squad, according to the entertainment database IMDB.com. Her website says that after moving to L.A. in 2004, she appeared in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1," "Mirror Mirror" and "Sparkle." She toured with the dance crews for both Britney Spears and Janet Jackson.
But she often returned to her roots in Vancouver, travelling home several times a year to visit her mother, brother and his child in Burnaby, a neighbouring suburb, Poirier said.
Four days before her death, she posted a photo to her Twitter account depicting herself with eyes shrouded by an oversized cap barring the popular "Van City" streetwear logo.
"Comin from where I'm from #604," read the caption, referring to the city's area code.
Her last tweet on Saturday simply says "flower girl."
Celebrities offered condolences over social media, including actress Ashley Tisdale who wrote: "I'll always remember dancing with you on #hellcats. Such a beautiful kind spirit. I'm praying for your family."
Pop superstar Rihanna posted a tribute photo of Moseley online as well.
Neither Poirier nor Moseley's agent were immediately able to reach the family the day after the woman's death, she said, adding Moseley last visited Vancouver in late October.
Poirier remembered feeling quite excited after discovering the teenager with a quiet, calm talent who clearly showed the potential to grow into her ambitions. Over the years she trained in Metro Vancouver dance studios including Pacific Arts Ballet, Kirkwood Academy and Danzmode.
The last time Poirier saw Moseley she showed up at her studio to watch other students rehearse. The woman, who's been featured in copious glamour shots, was wearing no makeup and making no airs, she said.
They walked together to a nearby corner store to chat and grab something to drink.
"She was this wide-eyed, beautiful girl. She was cautious and she never wanted to be the focus of the room — unless she was on stage."
— This story was changed at 2:57 to a Canadian Press version. Click here for the original Associated Press story.
Image Credit: Instagram