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ER' actress, armed with BB gun, shot and killed by police during mental health crisis

Actress Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed by police after arming herself with a BB gun during an apparent mental health episode. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

An actress known for her role on the television drama "ER" was shot and killed by police Thursday after she brandished a BB gun during what may have been a mental health episode, according to USA Today.

The actress, 49-year-old Vanessa Marquez, was killed during a welfare check that turned into a standoff that lasted more than an hour and a half before she was killed.

"While speaking to her, officers became aware she was possibly suffering from mental health issues, became uncooperative, and appeared to be unable to care for herself," a statement from the South Pasadena Police Department read. "They continued to speak to her for over an hour and a half in an attempt to offer her medical care. She then armed herself with a handgun and pointed it at officers, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred."

More about the incident

Officers were called to Marquez's residence just before noon Thursday after a landlord called about a female resident who was having a medical issue, according to KCBS-TV.

When first responders arrived, Marquez was reportedly suffering from seizures. A county mental health clinician was brought to the scene to try to help her.

At about 2 p.m., Marquez pulled out what officers thought was a semiautomatic handgun, but was actually a BB gun, and pointed it at officers. They shot her, and she died after being rushed to the hospital.


Marquez, who was also known for her roles in "Stand and Deliver," "Seinfeld" and "Melrose Place" was featured on the A&E show "Intervention," on which she revealed that she suffered from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and an intense shopping addiction.

"Heart sick to learn of the tragic passing of my friend, Vanessa Marquez," wrote Lou Diamond Phillips on Twitter. Phillips co-starred with Marquez in "Stand and Deliver." "I was not aware of the pain she endured due to her conditions and saddened to think that they may have contributed to her untimely demise. Her light and soul still shine in the performances she gave us."

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