Loved Ones Gather for Vigil to Remember ‘ER’ Actress Shot Dead by South Pasadena Police During Wellness Check

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Friends of actress Vanessa Marquez brought flowers on Wednesday to create a makeshift memorial outside the residence where she was fatally shot last week by South Pasadena police.

Marquez, best known for her roles in “ER” and “Stand and Deliver,” died last Thursday, Aug. 30, after first responders were sent to the home in the 1100 block of Fremont Avenue to conduct a welfare check.

After about 90 minutes, during which authorities say Marquez was uncooperative, the actress allegedly pulled out a BB gun and pointed it at police, which prompted officers to open fire.

Officials have not disclosed how many officers discharged their weapons, or how many shots were fired.

Marquez was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The incident came as a shock to those who knew Marquez. Her friends told KTLA it would be out of character for her to threaten police.

"She deserved more," Cheryl Hansen said. "She deserved to know that people loved her."

Maria Zuccarello said she came to Wednesday's memorial event because she was still in disbelief over her death.

"There's no reason for any of this," Zuccarello said.

Marquez's friends said she was a petite, frail woman who weighed less than 90 pounds — and questioned why officers would feel threatened enough to use deadly force.

"She was such a beautiful spirit," Eugene Hutchins said. "A talented artist and actress of course, but just — this wasn't the way it was supposed to end."

Loved ones said they plan to attend this month's city council meeting and petition officials for the prompt release bodycam video surrounding the incident.

"I hurt for Vanessa that this happened, but I'm frightened by the police who can make a wellness check and end up shooting somebody," Elizabeth Bell-Haynes said. "That scares me."

Two days after Marquez's death, South Pasadena city officials issued a statement saying the officers "acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has launched an independent investigation of the fatal shooting.

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