Tragedy has struck the television world as Vanessa Marquez, 49, a former star of the hit show ‘ER,’ was shot and killed by police. What happened to cause this woman’s shocking death?
Vanessa Marquez, best known for portraying Wendy Goldman on ER, was shot and killed by police on Aug. 30, according to the South Pasadenan. The South Pasadena Police Department arrived at her home to conduct a welfare check after receiving a call about a 49-year-old woman suffering from seizures. Vanessa reportedly threatened the officers with a realistic-looking BB gun, prompting the police to open fire in response. She was shot at least once in the torso and treated for her injuries at her home before being rushed to a local hospital. Police say she was pronounced dead at the medical center. Update: the police statement has been included below.
Lt. Joe Mendoza, of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s homicide bureau, went into detail about the incident during a press conference later that day. He said that the officers were called to the scene by a landlord, and noted the authorities had visited Vanessa’s residence in the past for help.
“At the time [of the shooting] there was an LA County mental health clinician here with the officers,” Lt. Mendoza said. “They began to communicate with her, she became very uncooperative and during that contact she armed herself with a handgun, she pointed it at the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred.” He aid that the BB gun “resembled a semi-automatic handgun,” which is why the officers opened fire.
Vanessa, according to Lt. Mendoza, was “undergoing some medical problems, some seizures, it appeared that the female was gravely disabled. …I don’t have any more specific details due to the fact that officers have not been interviewed as of this time.”
Vanessa Marquez was a good Twitter friend to me and graciously answered any dumb question that I had about "the biz". She will be missed very much. pic.twitter.com/H93sXjHn0j
— Michael Reed (@mikeyreed) August 31, 2018
The LA County sheriff’s department provide the following statement to HollywoodLife.com:
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Detectives are continuing to assist South Pasadena Police Department with an officer-involved shooting investigation. The incident occurred on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at approximately 1:48 p.m., on the 1100 Block Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena.
Officers from South Pasadena Police Department were in an apartment complex at the location conducting a welfare check for a female resident who was possibly suffering from a medical condition. When officers arrived at approximately 12:00 p.m., they noticed the female was having seizures. They requested fire department paramedics to respond and assist with her medical needs.
While speaking to her, officers became aware she was possibly suffering from mental health issues, became uncooperative, and appeared to be unable to care for herself. A Los Angeles County Mental Health Clinician was on scene with officers from South Pasadena PD. They continued to speak to her for over an hour and a half in an attempt to offer her medical care. She then armed herself with a handgun and pointed it at the officers, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred.
The suspect was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. She is identified as a female Hispanic 49 years-old and resident of South Pasadena. The weapon recovered at the scene was a BB gun, and described as a replica semi-automatic handgun.
No officers were injured.
Update: The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau has identified the deceased suspect as Vanessa Marquez, a 49 year old resident of South Pasadena, California.
In addition to her role on ER, Vanessa had a list of movies like Stand and Deliver, Night Children, and Blood In, Blood Out. After ER, her acting roles dried up, and she would said that was because she was blacklisted after speaking out about alleged harassment on set of the NBC medical drama. “[George] Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke [about] harassment on ER,” she tweeted in 2017. “ ‘women who don’t play the game lose career.’ I did.” George said he had no part in her alleged exile.
“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” Clooney said in a statement, per Deadline. “I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show. I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”
After acting, Vanessa was vocal on social media about her struggles with health issues, according to Daily Mail, including terminal celiac disease, pulmonary embolism, osteoporosis and seizures.