Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed by South Pasadena police in September following a welfare check at an apartment complex

By Jodi Guglielmi
February 21, 2019 03:27 PM
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Credit: Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank

Vanessa Marquez‘s loved ones are seeking financial retribution for the actress’ tragic death.

The ER actress’s family filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against South Pasadena on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

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 in September following a welfare check at an apartment complex for someone “who was possibly suffering from a medical condition.” She was 49.

Police said they were forced to shoot after Marquez pulled out a BB gun and pointed it at the officers. However, the family argues the death was a result of “negligence.”

“Mrs. Marquez’ death was the result of the officers’ negligence, poor tactics, overreaction and use of excessive force under the circumstances,” says the claim, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

Vanessa Marquez on ER
| Credit: Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank

“I can confirm that the city received the claim,” South Pasadena government spokesman John Pope told Deadline in a statement. “The officer involved in the shooting is currently being investigated by two independent entities, the Sheriff’s Department and L.A. District Attorney’s office. We will not be commenting until the results of the investigations are complete.”

Two days after the ER star’s death, city officials released a statement defending the officer’s actions.

“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.