Authorities defended the actions of officers who fatally shot Vanessa Marquez on Thursday, saying that they “acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances.”
The actress, best known for her roles in “ER” and “Stand and Deliver,” was shot by South Pasadena police after she pointed a BB gun at them during a welfare check.
According to earlier reports, officers arrived at Marquez’s apartment while she was having a seizure. She later “became uncooperative, and appeared to be unable to care for herself,” a police report said.
Medical personnel, including a county mental health clinician, were also called to the apartment to offer assistance. However, when the 49-year-old pulled out a “replica semi-automatic handgun,” officers fired, reportedly shooting Marquez in the torso.
The actress later died at a local hospital.
Two independent investigations of the shooting by the LA County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s office are currently underway.
South Pasadena’s city manager, Stephanie DeWolfe, asked that the public wait until the facts of the case were confirmed before making judgments.
“We believe our officers acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances. We support our officers and stand by them during this investigation,” DeWolfe said in a statement. “We believe the facts will show that our officers, along with a mental health professional, made every attempt to resolve the situation peacefully before the use of deadly force became necessary.”
“It is very unfortunate and sad that the August 30 incident involving one of our residents, Vanessa Marquez, ended tragically with the loss of her life,” DeWolfe added. “Our thoughts are with her family, friends, colleagues and fans during this difficult time.”
CORRECTION: This article previously misidentified Stephanie DeWolfe as the city manager for Pasadena; rather, she is the city manager for South Pasadena, a separate municipality.