SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department concluded that a mother intentionally killed herself and her 2-year-old son last September when they fell off a six-story concourse at Petco Park before a Padres baseball game, a homicide lieutenant said Wednesday, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Raquel Wilkins, 40, and Denzel Browning-Wilkins died Sept. 25, just before the start of the Padres final home game of the season, when they fell from the third level of the ballpark just as thousands of fans were heading inside, Law Officer reported at the time.
Wilkins and her son were pronounced dead about 20 minutes after police were alerted. The distance of descent to a sidewalk below on 200 Tony Gwynn Way was the equivalent of six stories. The child’s father was also at the ballpark, police said.
Following the incident, a man told the Union-Tribune that his wife saw the fall and told him it looked like the little boy plummeted first and that the mother then went over trying to grab onto him. However, SDPD labeled the deaths “suspicious” and launched a homicide investigation.
Police said in Wednesday’s statement that detectives “conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, reviewing of available video footage, and collecting background information to determine what led to the deaths.” It said the decision was made to categorize the case as a murder-suicide in consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner.
Lt. Adam Sharki said SDPD will not release any further information on the case.
A lawyer who represents Wilkins’ parents and sisters, Dan Gilleon, expressed disappointment Wednesday over the lack of information shared with the family by SDPD regarding the investigation and how they came to their conclusions, ESPN reported.
Raquel Wilkins appears in an image released by attorney Dan Gilleon to television station KSWB.
Once SDPD released their findings, the Padres issued a statement, saying, “In light of today’s statement from the San Diego Police Department, we want to reiterate our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of those involved in this tragedy.”
According to ESPN, Gilleon said a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Wilkins’ parents is pending against Petco Park and the city of San Diego. Furthermore, the attorney plans to file a tort claim with the city in about a week.