Officers Who Fatally Shot 'ER' Actress Vanessa Marquez 'Acted Appropriately,' Authorities Say

Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed after she allegedly "armed herself" with what was later confirmed to be a BB gun

Photo: Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank

Police in South Pasadena, California, shot and killed Vanessa Marquez after she allegedly “armed herself” with what was later confirmed to be a BB gun but local authorities are defending the actions of the officers involved.

On Saturday, two days after the ER star’s death, city officials released a statement warning the public to not make rash judgments about the incident.

“We believe our officers acted appropriately under a tragic set of circumstances,” City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe said in the statement.

“We support our officers and stand by them during this investigation. We believe the facts will show that our officers, along with a mental health professional, made every attempt to resolve the situation peacefully before the use of deadly force became necessary,” DeWolfe added.

“In the meantime, we are asking the public to be patient and wait until the facts of the case are confirmed before making judgments about the incident,” she said.

When contacted by PEOPLE, a spokesperson for the South Pasadena Police Department did not provide further information about the shooting, including how many officers fired on Marquez.

Two separate investigations are currently being conducted into the former star’s death.

Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank

Marquez, who appeared for three seasons on the long-running NBC medical drama as nurse Wendy Goldman, was shot and killed by South Pasadena police on Thursday following a welfare check at an apartment complex for someone “who was possibly suffering from a medical condition.” She was 49.

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In a sheriff’s department statement shared on Friday, it was revealed that South Pasadena officers found Marquez “having seizures” and “possibly suffering from mental health issues.”

The star allegedly “became uncooperative” and “appeared to be unable to care for herself” leading authorities to bring in a county mental health expert for assistance. According to Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza, Marquez armed herself with a BB gun and pointed it at the officers, causing them to open fire. Officers were not harmed in the incident.

The sheriff’s department and a coroner’s spokeswoman confirmed Marquez was taken to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy is pending.

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