The mother of ER star Vanessa Marquez who was shot and killed by police in 2018 has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the city of South Pasadena.
Delia McElfresh, 80, and the California city reached a settlement of $450,000 over the actress’s death during a wellness check by officers.
She filed the lawsuit in August against the city, its former police chief and a number of officers over alleged poor tactics and overreaction which led to the shooting.
Marquez was best known for playing nurse Wendy Goldman on the popular NBC medical drama ER, also starring George Clooney
South Pasadena Mayor Diana Mahmud said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times: ‘Any loss of life is tragic. However, I can now report the parties have reached a mutually agreeable settlement in the amount of $450,000 in order to save the parties the costs associated with protracted litigation.’
The lawsuit also alleged unlawful entry, unreasonable detention, excessive force and violation of due process but did not specify the amount it was seeking.
A legal claim that preceded a separate lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Civil Court sought $20million in damages.
As part of the new settlement all claims have been dismissed with prejudice, the city announced.
Marquez, 49, who starred in the medical drama ER as nurse Wendy Goldman, struggled with mental health issues and had a history of seizures.
A friend requested a wellness check on August 30, 2018, and police entered her Pasadena home.
In harrowing bodycam footage, the officers can be heard pleading with Marquez to drop the gun while they wait at the bottom of the stairs. The actress appears on the steps holding the gun (circled) before the officers open fire
The messy conditions of her apartment, described by police as ‘in complete disarray due to hoarding conditions,’ were such that the officers struggled to open doors.
They spoke with her for more than an hour with a county mental health clinician as they tried to persuade her to be treated in hospital.
She refused and officers told her she was being placed under a 5150 hold which would involuntarily make her accepted medical help.
Distressing bodycam footage shows her protesting and refusing to be detained by police.
One of the officers is seen pointing his handgun at the actress’ bedroom door after making a hasty withdrawal through the apartment
Marquez is then seeing drawing a pair of scissors from a handbag, followed by pistol, which was later found to be BB gun
‘I’m not going,’ the actress tells the pair of officers before she is seen drawing a pair of scissors from a handbag, followed by pistol, which was later found to be BB gun.
One of the officers says: ‘Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, s**t, she’s got a gun. She’s got a gun. Gun! Gun! Gun!’ And the police immediately back out of the apartment.
Marquez can be heard asking the officer to ‘kill her’ as they tell her to drop the gun and back out of the apartment.
The officers can then be heard pleading with Marquez again to drop the gun while they wait at the bottom of the stairs.
The actress appears on the steps holding the BB gun before the officers open fire.
Marquez, 49, can be seen lying on her bed when police enter the property in South Pasadena, California, after they were called by a concerned friend on August 30, 2018
Twelve rounds were fired at Marquez and she was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead from wounds to the torso.
The lawsuit alleged that Marquez was shot ‘when she was not facing the officers, when the officers were a safe distance away from her, and when there was no imminent threat of serious injury or death to the officers or others’.
It claimed there were multiple options available to the officers and the situation called for de-escalation.
A bouquet of flowers stands behind a broken window pane in Marquez’s apartment after the deadly shooting
Vicki Sarmiento, the attorney representing McElfresh when the lawsuit was filed, said: ‘Ms. Marquez was in her home minding her own business and instead of receiving assistance from medical professionals she was shot to death.’
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office decided not to file criminal charges against the two police officers involved in the shooting, Gilberto Carrillo and Christopher Perez.
Shannon Presby, head deputy district attorney, wrote in a memo: ‘In this incident, the evidence demonstrates that Carrillo and Perez actually and reasonably believed Marquez posed an imminent threat of great bodily injury or death.’
In the years leading up to her death, Marquez had been vocal on social media about her struggles with various health problems, including what she described as terminal celiac disease, pulmonary embolism, osteoporosis and seizures.
Presby wrote in the memo: ‘Her intention, as evidenced by her final Facebook post, sadly appears to have been to end her life’
In March 2018, she had written on Facebook that she was ‘terminally ill.’
Deputy DA Presby wrote in the memo: ‘Her intention, as evidenced by her final Facebook post, sadly appears to have been to end her life.’
Marquez, who also appeared in Stand and Deliver, had written: ‘there shooting cremate me pour ashes over Hollywood sign.’ It was posted three minutes before officers opened fire at 1.49pm.
In 2017, Marquez publicly accused fellow ER star George Clooney of helping blacklist her after she spoke out about alleged harassment on the show’s set, including being subjected to racist and sexist remarks.
Clooney responded by insisting that he had no idea Marquez had been blacklisted and had played no part in it.
‘I had nothing to do with casting,’ the Ocean’s 11 star said in a statement. ‘I was an actor and only an actor. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.’
After leaving ER, Marquez appeared in three episodes of the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle in 1999, followed by a few more roles in TV films and shorts.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk