SOUTH PASADENA (CBSLA) — Newly-released body cam footage shows the tense moments before actress Vanessa Marquez was shot to death by South Pasadena police in 2018.
In August 2018, South Pasadena police officers went to the apartment of “ER” and “Stand and Deliver” actress Vanessa Marquez for a welfare check.
A report from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division says officers found packages piled up at the front door and hoarding conditions before they located her in a bedroom. When she saw the officers, Marquez screamed and began experiencing seizures on her bed, according to the report.
Marquez appeared to be about 80 pounds and frail from not eating for five days, the report said. Paramedics and a mental health evaluator were called in, and they determined she was a danger to herself, gravely disabled and should be evaluated at a hospital.
But she refused to go to the hospital, and instead pulled out a pair of scissors and what officers believed to be a black handgun, according to the report.
The officers backed out of the apartment and took up a position at the bottom of a flight of stars. The report said they ordered her several times to drop the gun and show her hands, but when she raised the gun, the officers opened fire.
Marquez died in the shooting. The investigation later determined the former actress had been holding a BB gun.
The report from the District Attorney’s office determined that the officers were justified in their actions.
Marquez’s mother is suing the department for wrongful death.