Authorities released their review along with body camera footage Monday of an officer-involved shooting that killed actress Vanessa Marquez two years ago.
Police responded to actress Vanessa Marquez’s home to conduct a wellness check on Aug. 30, 2018, after they received a call from an out-of-state family member who was concerned about her well-being, said Chief Joe Ortiz of the South Pasadena Police Department at a briefing Monday.
Marquez, best known for her roles on “Stand and Deliver” and “ER,” was fatally shot during the incident, which was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. She was 49.
The review released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Monday determined that Officers Gilberto Carrillo and Christopher Perez, who fired their weapons, “acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others.”
The newly released body camera footage shows police arriving to Marquez’s home, which they say was “in complete disarray due to hoarding conditions.” Police find Marquez in bed, at which point she screams and can be heard saying “seizure” and “don’t take me to the hospital,” the video shows.
Paramedics and a mental health clinician arrived a few minutes later, who, along with officers, spoke to Marquez for around 30 minutes about her medication and physical and mental health condition, officials said. They then determined that she needed to be hospitalized.
A South Pasadena peace officer, identified as Officer Camillo, can be heard telling Marquez that she is not under arrest but will be taken for an examination with a mental health professional at Huntington Memorial Hospital.
“Oh, my God. No,” she can be heard saying.
The officer tells her she will be placed on a 5150 hold — an involuntary 72-hour hold — because she is gravely disabled and a danger to herself. Marquez continues to say she is not going.
That’s when Marquez reaches into a bag on her bed and pulls out what police think is a gun. Police can be seen backing away, and can be heard yelling, “drop the gun” several times.
“I’m not going to kill you. Drop the gun,” an officer says. Police then back out of the apartment and into a hallway staircase with their guns drawn toward Marquez’s home.
They can be heard asking her to drop the gun and to come out with her hands up. But Marquez then enters the stairway wielding a gun, which is only slightly visible in the video.
Police fire several shots in Marquez’s direction. Her body can be seen laying on the staircase, with the gun next to her.
The firearm was recovered at the scene and was later determined to be a replica, officials said.
Police had previously responded to Marquez’s home, according to Chief Ortiz.
Marquez’s mother, Delia McElfresh, filed a claim in Feb. 2019, seeking $20 million in damages from the city of South Pasadena for her daughter’s wrongful death. In the claim, she says poor tactic, negligence and overreaction on behalf of police led to Marquez’s death.
Two days after Marquez’s death, South Pasadena city officials issued a statement saying the officers “acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances.”
An investigation was conducted by three independent agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office and the South Pasadena Police Department.
An administrative investigation review of the incident has not yet been conducted by an independent company, which serves to ensure that policies and procedures are followed by officers, Chief Ortiz said during the briefing.
The department said Monday that they have had three officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years.