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Vigil planned to mark one year since fatal police shooting of actress Vanessa Marquez

ER
Vanessa Marquez as Nurse Wendy Goldman in “ER.”
(Alice S. Hall / NBCUniversal)

Friends and family of “ER” actress Vanessa Marquez, who was fatally shot by police at her home last year, are planning to hold a vigil Friday to commemorate her death and to pressure South Pasadena police into releasing body-camera footage of the shooting.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in front of Marquez’s home in the 1100 block of Fremont Avenue, organizers said.

The circumstances surrounding Marquez’s death on Aug. 30, 2018, sparked outrage among her family and many in the community. Officers were sent to the 49-year-old actress’ home to conduct a wellness check and when they arrived, she was having a seizure, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which oversaw the investigation.

Officers and a mental health clinician spoke with Marquez for more than 90 minutes to try to persuade her to accept medical care, authorities said. She may have also been suffering from mental health problems, officials said.

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Officers shot Marquez after she reached for what appeared to be a handgun and pointed it at officers, authorities said. The weapon was later determined to be a BB gun.

In February, Marquez’s mother, Delia McElfresh, filed a wrongful death claim against the city of South Pasadena seeking $20 million in damages, along with burial and funeral expenses.

Marquez was best known for playing Wendy Goldman on the medical drama “ER” between 1994 and 1997. She began her acting career in the late ’80s when she took two buses from her hometown of Montebello to West Hollywood to audition for the role of Ana Delgado in the film “Stand and Deliver.”

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