VIDEO: Bodycam Released From Shooting Of 'ER' Actress Vanessa Marquez

Holly Matkin

Vanessa Marquez refused to go to the hospital and told officers to kill her before she advanced on them with a gun.

South Pasadena, CA – Police bodycam captured the moment when former “ER” star Vanessa Marquez pulled a gun on officers who responded to her home for a welfare check in 2018.

The incident began at approximately 11:49 a.m. Aug. 30, 2018, after one of Marquez’s out-of-state friends contacted the South Pasadena Fire Department to express concern for the actress’s well-being, the South Pasadena Police Department (SPPD) said in the video release.

The fire department alerted the SPPD, and officers headed over to Marquez’s Fremont Avenue apartment.

When they arrived at the scene, they discovered that Marquez’s home was in “extreme disarray due to hoarding conditions,” according to the SPPD.

Bodycam footage showed the officers as they struggled to open the front door of the home due to the items piled against it from the inside.

After calling out her name and receiving no response, the officers made their way further into the apartment.

When they found Marquez lying in her bed, she began screaming and claimed she was having a seizure, the video showed.

“Don’t take me to the hospital,” the 49-year-old actress whispered.

“Okay – we’re just making sure you’re okay,” the officer calmly responded.

Paramedics and a mental health treatment provider were called to the scene, and calmly spoke with Marquez about her medications, physical status, and mental health status for the next half hour, the SPPD said.

It was ultimately concluded that Marquez needed to be transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital for an evaluation.

One of the officers explained to Marquez that she was not under arrest, but that that she was “gravely disabled” and a danger to herself.

“I’m not going,” the actress replied, sitting upright in her bed. “I’m not going.”

She then turned and pulled a pair of scissors and a handgun out of the purse sitting in the clutter next to her.

The officer immediately alerted other first responders about the weapon.

“Oh s--t, she’s got a gun,” he warned. “She’s got a gun. Gun! Gun! Gun! Gun!”

Officers backed out of Marquez’s room and ordered her to drop the weapon, bodycam footage showed.

“Kill me!” she yelled.

“I’m not going to kill you,” the officer hollered back. “Drop the gun.”

The officer continued to back away, then made his way back down the staircase.

“In an effort to de-escalate the situation, officers backed out to provide time and space,” the PPD narrator said in the video.

They stayed towards the base of the stairs, and repeatedly tried to get Marquez to come down peacefully.

When she emerged from her apartment a short while later, she was still holding the gun.

“Vanessa! Drop whatever is in your hand! Right now!” an officer suddenly ordered.

But instead of complying, the actress began making her way down the stairs with the weapon held out in front of her and pointed down the staircase.

Officers opened fire, fatally wounding her.

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

Investigators later determined that weapon, which was found lying next to Marquez’ feet, was a replica, the PPD said.

According to police, Marquez had been suffering from problems associated with an eating disorder, and they had been called for assistance at her home on many occasions in the past, KABC reported at the time.

She also described herself as being terminally ill in multiple Facebook posts, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

Just three minutes before she headed down the stairs with the gun in her hand, Marquez made one last Facebook post.

“There shooting cremate me pour ashes over Hollywood sign,” she wrote.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office determined that South Pasadena Police Officer Gilberto Carrillo and Officer Christopher Perez were justified in using deadly force against Marquez, the Pasadena Star-News reported.

“Carrillo saw the gun pointed in the direction of the officers and Perez described a situation in which Marquez could have ‘opened fire’ on them in an instant. Both officers, in that moment, actually and reasonably feared for their lives,” the district attorney’s office’s report read.

“The circumstances reasonably created in their minds a certain and imminent danger, and their response was justified,” according to the report.

South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz said that the officers did everything they could to help Marquez.

“They used every resource available in an attempt to get her the care she needed, but sadly the situation took a very tragic turn,” Chief Ortiz told the Pasadena Star-News.

Vicki Sarmiento, the attorney representing Marquez’s family in their $20 million wrongful death suit against the city, said that the actress’s family was devastated to learn that the footage had been released, Newsweek reported.

"Vanessa's mother feels it was irresponsible for video to be published without any pre-advisement to her,” Sarmiento said. “She is a grieving mother, and the city has never once contacted her to meet with her to explain the circumstances of her daughter's death. She feels further violated by the way she has been treated and disregarded."

In their lawsuit, Marquez’s family accused officers of unlawful entry, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, and other alleged wrongdoings, Newsweek reported.

Marquez, who was best known for her role as nurse Wendy Goldman in the NBC drama series “ER,” also acted in several films, including “Stand and Deliver.”

In 2005, her shopping addiction was featured in an episode of A&E’s “Intervention.”

During a Twitter rant in October of 2017, Marquez claimed she was fired from “ER” after she came forward about being the victim of sexual and racial harassment on the set, Heavy reported.

In addition to referring to actor Eriq La Salle and an “ER” crew member as “p---y grabbers,” Marquez also accused three other cast members of abusing her due to her “Mexican heritage,” Page Six reported.

She said another of her coworkers, actor George Clooney, had her blacklisted as an actress.

“I had nothing to do with casting,” Clooney responded, according to Heavy. “I was an actor and only an actor. If she 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.”

In a Facebook post on Aug. 8, Marquez blasted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for shutting down her account, and again lashed out at Clooney.

“I’ll start a debate,” Marquez wrote. “George is gay and Scientology keeps him from living an honest life and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. Yup. Went there. Not exactly in a they go low, we go high place anymore. Discuss.”

According to the Daily Mail, Marquez also made many social media posts about her medical issues in the past, and said she had been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, osteoporosis, and terminal celiac disease.

You can watch bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Marquez in the video below:

Comments (28)

Unfortunate but once suicide by cop has been decided on as the only's rarely preventable.

No. 1-19

Hard video to watch... I can see the mental health issues are connected to the eating disorder but she was ok just living in squalor.
I don't think they had to push the issue of her leaving when she didn't want to and especially after she said kill me...
I think they could've backed off and deescalate the situation more than they did. Sad story and hard to watch someone so successful turn into that.

Cop gives mom ride after seeing her on street with balloons to celebrate daughter's birthday — Long Room


I just have to say that Celiac is not a terminal disease, chronic but not terminal.


Sad situation. Too bad "Mommy Dearest" wasn't concerned until the "killed by cop lottery lawyer" sold mommy a losing lottery ticket!


How can a family sue when their daughter points a gun at the officers. Sounds like they just want money. Hope they dont get it


I'm on the LEO's side 100%!!

They went and remained IN the bottom of the stairwell trying to deesculate the situation.

She wrote on FB they were shooting before she went into the stairwell.
She'd made up her mind she wanted to die and set into motion everything needed to accomplish that.

Her family had YEARS to intervene. A friend, NOT family called for a Welfare check! They're looking for a payday because she probably cut their greedy asses out of her will!!!

As far as George Clooney goes, he probably is gay, and I don't give a hoot about his very liberal idiotology!

Or the rest of her unproven claims! She had mental illness and no one that could help her did ... now she's dead.

Micheal Sullivan
Micheal Sullivan

Very very sad. I honestly believe that for some, undue wealth can be their destruction. Sometimes its the day to day, week to week, or month to month struggle and connection with reality that comes from practical labor and working with others that keeps a person solidly grounded.


Vanessa who? Hollywood is so irrelevant.


Those of you that say the cops should have backed away are completely right. They could have left her completely alone and left the house and let her die in her squander.
But you know a lot of cop cars have a slogan on there hearts that says "TO PROTECT and SERVE. If they had done what you are stating they would have failed completely.
Until help is offered, Until help is accepted the victim is always in the wrong.
I hope the lawsuit fails completely. The cops did their best.


"Vicki Sarmiento, the attorney representing Marquez’s family in their $20 million wrongful death suit against the city, said that the actress’s family was devastated to learn that the footage had been released, Newsweek reported."

Because it makes cashing in much much harder.


No cop that I've ever worked with desires to shoot anyone. She forced them to shoot her. Mental health and the brain are still uncharted territory for medicine. It is tragic her life had to end in this manner, and even more tragic that her family is attempting to cash-in on the incident.

Sgt Rock
Sgt Rock

Hollywood made her.


The body cam is good evidence that the police did everything completely by the book. The lawsuit should definitely be dismissed.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Time to stop having police respond to suicidal person calls.




This is called suicide by cop!!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Either no government agents, or government employed social workers. I don't mind having the officers play a secondary role as long as they are clear that the social worker is in charge and should take no action until the social worker arrives on the scene to take command.


I'm well aware of Celiac and all that it entails as I've had it my entire life. It doesn't lead to other disease, just makes us more prone to them, most prominently diabetes. It can cause a great many problems IF you don't eat gluten free. If you eat clean, you can live a normal life and your intestines will begin to heal.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Trained social worker. And they should have the power to have police clear the area, under the direction and control of the trained social worker, if the social worker decides that it is too dangerous to be near the allegedly suicidal person. This isn't complicated, T168.