SAN DIEGO — San Diego police investigators have ruled the death of a woman who fell from a third-story stadium concourse last fall at Petco Park while holding her 2-year-old son a murder-suicide.
Investigators say they conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed background information and available video footage of the Sept. 25 incident that killed San Diego residents Raquel Wilkins, 40, and her son, Denzel Browning-Wilkins. It happened that day just before 4 p.m. prior to a Padres game against the Atlanta Braves.
The ruling into their deaths was made in consultation with the San Diego County Medical Examiner, San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said in a news release, adding the department won’t comment further.
“SDPD understands the public’s concern and interest in this tragedy that happened publicly in a venue where the community gathers,” Brown said. “We would like to thank all those who came forward with information.”
Following the police statement, the Padres released 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.”
The day of the incident, San Diego police noted that the deaths of Wilkins and Browning-Wilkins “appeared to be suspicious.” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria called them “horrifically tragic” and the Padres’ statement noted the club was “deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park.”
One woman who witnessed it told FOX 5 that Wilkins appeared to lose her balance after twice jumping up on a bench near the railing on the third level of the stadium.
“I remember saying ‘I can’t believe she’s doing that again,’” the woman said, “and then she was gone.”
Days later, the family’s attorney Daniel Gilleon told FOX 5 that they’re planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Gilleon also took aim at Gloria at the time, criticizing the mayor for comments where he said there were “unusual circumstances around the case.” Gloria later apologized for offending the family with his remarks.
Reached for comment Wednesday, Gilleon criticized the city’s actions in the wake of his clients’ deaths and named the city as “the primary defendant in the wrongful death action.”
“Like any other property owner, they were required to keep people on their property safe,” Gilleon said. “Within hours of Raquel’s and Denzel’s deaths, the City’s mayor went to the press and blamed it all on Raquel. Four months later, the City’s police went to the media and said the Mayor was right. But the City doesn’t want to explain why it concluded that a young mother would kill her only child at an event where witnesses said she was happy.”
He added, “To me, the City is acting like any other defendant in a lawsuit: blame the victim, especially if they’re not able to defend themselves.”
For those impacted by the events of Sept. 25 incident, police said the District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program is available for crisis intervention, support and other resources by calling 619-531-4041.