Vanessa Marquez, the California-born actress famous for her role in the television show ER, was shot and killed by police during a welfare check at her home in South Pasadena, California.
As per the reports from The Guardian, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the LA County sheriff's department told reporters that after receiving a call from Marquez's landlord, officers arrived at the 1100 block of Fremont Avenue on Thursday morning. The lieutenant said Vanessa Marquez seemed "gravely disabled," adding, Marquez "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."
"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," reads the LA County sheriff's department statement.
She reportedly spoke with an LA County mental health clinician and officers for around 90 minutes. After the said conversation, "she became very uncooperative."
Vanessa later brandished a gun at the officers, and according to reports, the officers opened fire at her and she was shot in the torso. He added that Vanessa's firearm was later identified as a BB gun that reportedly resembled a semi-automatic weapon.
"I'm just really saddened by the whole thing. It sounds like a horrible, horrible misunderstanding," revealed a neighbor.
Vanessa Marquez was prominently known for her recurring role on the first three seasons of ER as nurse Wendy Goldman. She was also known by many for her role in the 1988 teacher drama Stand and Deliver. She later appeared in a Seinfeld episode titled The Cheever Letters, in which she portrayed the secretary to the Cuban Embassy.
Vanessa Marquez was also in news after the #MeToo movement. Back in 2017, she tweeted that George Clooney "helped blacklist me when I spoke up" about harassment on ER. In a released statement, Clooney denied the accusations and stated that he had nothing to do with casting on the show.
"I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted," he said. "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."
Vanessa later wrote on Facebook in January 2017 that after getting blacklisted, her career was over at 26.
"Why are women afraid to speak up 'at the time?' Because everything they've ever worked for is RIPPED away from them. For being a goddamn victim and expecting protection," she further wrote.
Vanessa Marquez was also extremely vocal about her health struggles, including celiac disease, osteoporosis, pulmonary embolism, and seizures.