More than two years after the 49-year-old actress Vanessa Marquez was shot dead by the police during a 'welfare check,' the dramatic video footage leading up to her death has been released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
Known for her role as Nurse Wendy Goldman on ER, Marques was shot to death by police during a welfare check being conducted after her landlord complained about her well-being, in August 2018. The graphic video footage was recorded with the bodycam located on the police officer's uniform.
The graphic footage reveals the moments leading to Marquez's death
The seven-minute footage shows an unidentified police officer requesting a dishevelled Marquez to visit a hospital, as she is found sitting on a bed in her room at South Pasadena. When the actress responds that she had a seizure, the officer responds: "We've already had this discussion and it's beyond that now, OK?"
Stating that she is not going to the hospital, Marquez could be seen putting her hands under the sheets to take out something that resembles a gun. "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Oh s–t, she's got a gun. She's got a gun. Gun, gun, gun, gun," shouts the officer as he runs the adjoining room. "Drop the gun, drop the gun," the officer shouts as Marquez responds, "Kill me."
Video reveals Marquez pointing a gun at the police officer
Saying that he will not kill her, the officer rushes downstairs and informed the other team members that Marquez had a gun. After shouting at Marquez to come downstairs, she is seen pointing the gun at the officers from upstairs. "Vanessa, put your hands up. No gun, okay? Vanessa, drop whatever is in your hand right now, Drop it," shouted the officer as Marquez pays no heed.
The officers are then seen spraying bullets at the top of the steps, in turn killing Marquez on the spot. In the last frame, a gun is seen lying near the dead body. It was found later that it was a fake gun.
Marquez's family members angry over the release of video
Expressing anguish over releasing the gruesome footage publicly, Marquez's family said that they were notified about the public release of the body cam video. In a statement released to The Independent, the family's lawyer said: "Vanessa's family was not informed that video would be published. Vanessa's mother feels it was irresponsible for the video to be published without any pre-advisement to her."
"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," the lawyer added.
After her death, Marquez's family had filed a case of wrongful death suit against the city of South Pasadena and the two officers who were involved in the shooting.
However, in a report released on Monday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, it was stated that that the two officers took the extreme action in self-defence after Marquez pointed a handgun at them during the welfare check.