Former Television Star Shot Dead After Allegedly Pointing Replica Handgun at Police


On Thursday, 49-year-old actress Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed in her home after pulling what looked like a semi-automatic handgun on police officers.

Police officers responded to a call in South Pasadena, California, around 11:49 a.m. on Thursday.

According to Lt. Joe Mendoza of the L.A. County Sheriff’s homicide bureau, the call came from Marquez’s landlord, who asked that police conduct a welfare check on Marquez, as they had done in the past.

When officers arrived at Marquez’s home, she “was undergoing some medical problems, some seizures, it appeared that the female was gravely disabled,” Mendoza told the South Pasadenan.

Marquez, who had spoken on social media about her health problems with seizures and celiac disease, reportedly refused offers of medical attention.

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At the time of Marquez’s shooting, three officers and a mental health clinician had been communicating with her for around 90 minutes, during which time she became increasingly uncooperative and combative.

Shortly before 2 p.m. she pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the officers, and an officer-involved shooting took place.

Marquez was shot in the torso and rushed to a local medical center, where she was pronounced dead.

What officers thought was a semi-automatic handgun turned out to be a replica. No officers were injured.

Marquez was best known for portraying Nurse Wendy Goldman on “ER” from 1994-1997. Throughout the 90s, she performed in guest spots on TV shows such as “Seinfeld” and “Malcolm & Eddie.”

Her screen time diminished in the 2000s. In 2005 she appeared in the A&E reality TV show “Intervention,” during which she revealed her struggles with depression and a shopping addiction.

She had most recently acted in a small part in a 2017 short film, “The Problem with Evolution.”

Last year, the actress had tweeted that actor George Clooney had helped to blacklist her after she had spoken up about being the target of sexual and racial harassment on the set of “ER.”

“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted … 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,” Clooney said in a statement to Us Weekly.

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“If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to,” he added. “The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”

Marquez’s twitter account was suspended at the time of her death.

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Karista Baldwin studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice.
Karista Baldwin has studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice. Before college, she was a lifelong homeschooler in the "Catholic eclectic" style.
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