Police in Hillcrest believe they have discovered the reason why a woman and her 2-year-old son who fell with their deaths at a Major League Baseball game at Petco Park last season.
But the attorney representing the deceased mom and baby’ s family has come forward to strongly disagree with the police department’ s findings.
As we reported back September, a woman later identified as Raquel Wilkins and her 2-year-old son Denzel Browning-Wilkins both died after they apparently went over a railing and fell down three stories at a San Diego Padres game at the downtown North park baseball stadium.
Authorities considered the deaths highly “ suspicious” at the time of the incident — and now, cops say they have made a determination. On Wednesday, San Diego PD Lieutenant Andra Brown released a statement to the headlines media revealing which they believe Wilkins and her son died in a horrific murder-suicide.
Brown explained, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune (below):
“ Raquel Wilkins’ death has been classified a suicide and Denzel Browning-Wilkins’ death has been classified a homicide. … Detectives conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, reviewing of available video clip, and collecting back ground information to determine what led to the deaths. ”
Now, it ought to be noted that one or more witness statement would seem to contradict the murder-suicide designation. Per the media report, one witness over and over described Wilkins as “ happy” and “ laughing” as she was jumping up and down on a picnic table moments before “ she lost her balance and this time, fell over the edge. ”
Attorney Dan Gilleon , who is representing Wilkins’ family, released his own statement to the newspaper alleging that this ruling is merely a way to protect the town — who owns a 70 per cent stake in Petco Park — from legal liability.
“ The city of San Diego owns that ballpark, it is legally responsible, assuming that what caused her to fall was not her intent. The only path the city is not to blame is if she intended to kill herself and her baby. ”
In his argument, Gilleon pointed to a moment two days after the incident back in late September, when San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria seemed to blame Wilkins herself for the tragedy when he commented to local TELEVISION outlets “ you don’t have to harm a child” amid the tragedy.
Gloria later apologized to the family for that comment, but Gilleon seized onto it again in his criticism this week:
“ Four months later, the City’ s police visited the media and said the Mayor was right. ”
The attorney further criticized the city for the “ extraordinarily dangerous and stupid” idea to place picnic tables right alongside a waist-high railing.
In addition , the lawyer told the AP :
“ The city doesn’ t want to explain why it figured a young mother would kill her only child at a conference where witnesses said she was happy. To me, the city is acting like any defendant in case: blame the victim, especially if they are unable to defend themselves. ”
Here is more on the PD’ s ruling and legal aftermath, from Fox 5 San Diego this week (below):
Such an unsettling and awful situation all over.
And also to think of that family, and those grieving that poor mom and child. So sad…