Bodycam footage of the officer-involved shooting death of ER actress Vanessa Marquez was released by the South Pasadena Police Department on Monday.
The South Pasadena Police Department released its bodycam recordings from the officers involved in the “wellness check” that resulted in actress Vanessa Marquez being shot to death in her home on the night of August 30, 2018. The disturbing footage was published by local ABC affiliate KABC on Tuesday.
At the same time, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released the results of their investigation into the shooting. They have ruled that officers Gilberto Carrillo and Christopher Perez acted in “lawful self-defense” and will not face criminal charges for killing the 49-year-old.
According to reporting by KTLA, the officers responded to concerns about Marquez by an out-of-state relative who contacted authorities. When they arrived to check on her, they found her residence “in complete disarray due to hoarding conditions.” Marquez said something about a “seizure” and begged the police not to take her to the hospital.
When Officer Carrillo told Marquez that she would be transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital to be evaluated by a mental health professional, Marquez can be heard saying, “Oh my God, no.” When they tried to assure her she was not being arrested, Marquez pulled what authorities believed to be a firearm from her bag. “Kill me,” she begged.
An officer can be heard saying, “I’m not going to kill you,” but Marquez pursued them with the weapon until they fired on her. After her death, the weapon was identified as a BB gun, deliberately designed to resemble a “Beretta 92FS firearm.” At the time, South Pasadena officials released a statement saying the officers “acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances.”
In February 2019, Marquez’s mother Delia McElfresh filed a “wrongful death” lawsuit against South Pasadena, seeking $20 million in damages. The suit claims that “poor tactics, negligence and overreaction” led to Marquez’s tragic death.