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Saturday, March 25, 2023

San Diego Police Conclude Mother Killed Herself and Her 2-Year-Old Son in Petco Park Last Fall

Alex Riggins
From the San Diego Union Tribune

SAN DIEGO — A police investigation has concluded that a San Diego mother deliberately killed herself and her 2-year-old son last September when they fell from a six-story lobby in Petco Park before a Padres game, a homicide lieutenant said Wednesday. .

A lawyer for the woman’s family said the police did not provide any explanation as to what led investigators to conclude murder or suicide. The attorney said he believes the San Diego Police Department is trying to shield the city that owns Petco Park from being held responsible for the death of a mother and her son.

Raquel Wilkins, 40, and Denzel Browning-Wilkins died on September 25, shortly before the start of the Padres’ penultimate home game of the season, when they fell from the stadium’s third level as thousands of fans were heading inside, San Diego police homicide Lt. Andra Brown said in a statement. In the past year.

Police called the death “suspicious” and launched a murder investigation.

“The death of Raquel Wilkins has been classified as a suicide and the death of Denzel Browning-Wilkins has been classified as a homicide,” Brown said in a press release on Wednesday. She said the San Diego police would not comment on the case.

Brown said detectives concluded murder and suicide after “detectives conducted a thorough and comprehensive investigation that included dozens of interviews, review of available video footage and gathering background information to determine what led to the death.”

Lawyer Dan Gilleon represents the father, mother and sisters of Wilkins and said on Wednesday that the police “refused to give us any information” and “categorically refused to explain” how they came to the conclusion that Wilkins killed herself and her son.

Gilleon said the police conclusion is the city’s defense against pending lawsuits.

“The city of San Diego owns this stadium and is legally responsible, assuming anything but her intent caused her to fall,” Gilleon said Wednesday. “The only time the city isn’t at fault is that she intended to kill herself and her child.”

Wilkins and her son fell at about 3:50 p.m. from the equivalent of six stories onto the sidewalk on Tony Gwynn Drive. According to Brown, while efforts were made to resuscitate them, it quickly became apparent that none of them survived. They were declared dead at 4:11 pm.

According to police lieutenant Adam Sharkey, before the fall they were in the canteen at the lobby level. Police said the child’s father, whom Gilleon had previously identified as her fiancé, was at the stadium at the time.

© 2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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