A 40-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son died after a fall at Petco Park on Saturday, September 25. The incident happened minutes before the start of the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves ballgame, which started at 4:15 without delay. The names of the two people have not yet been released. (Update: police have identified the victims as Raquel Wilkins and son Denzel Browning-Wilkins.)
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the two victims fell from a third-level concourse onto the sidewalk on Tony Gwynn Drive — a fall of approximately six stories. They were pronounced dead at the scene at 4:11p.m. after police arrived at the scene. The fall reportedly happened in full view of multiple witnesses. The San Diego Police Homicide Unit were called to the scene, “out of an abundance of caution,” reported CNN. The police said the deaths “appeared to be suspicious.” However, nothing in any of the initial reports indicate that it was more than a horrible accident. The mother and son were at a concessions area; one witness told the Tribune that the boy fell in an area with picnic tables, and the mother fell after trying to catch him. The father was also at the ballpark, waiting for them to come back from the dining area.
The San Diego Padres issued a statement on Sunday that read, ““We are deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park last evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of those involved. We will continue to refrain from comment on the nature of the incident as it is an ongoing investigation by the San Diego Police Department.”
UPDATE January 2022: Police have ruled the fall as a suicide and homicide, according to USA Today.The San Diego Police Department released a statement that read, “The 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. In consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner, Raquel Wilkins’ death has been classified a suicide and Denzel Browning-Wilkins’ death has been classified a homicide. The San Diego Police Department will not be making any further comment on the case.”
This has been at least one other fatality from a fall at a ballpark this year. A 46-year-old man died at Citi Field while attending a Dead & Company concert on August 20. He fell from a second-story staircase during intermission at the show.