San Diego police are investigating two “suspicious” deaths that occurred before a nationally televised Major League Baseball game over the weekend between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, “A woman and her 2-year-old son died late Saturday afternoon after they fell from the third level of Petco Park, just as thousands of baseball fans were heading inside for a Padres game, San Diego police said.”
Law enforcement did not release the names of the deceased, but officials said the 40-year-old woman and the boy were pronounced dead at 4:11 p.m., four minutes before the first pitch. They resided in San Diego.
According to the Union-Tribune, “The pair fell from the third level concourse – the equivalent of six stories high – to the sidewalk below on Tony Gwynn Drive,” citing information provided by San Diego Police Department Lt. Andra Brown. “While efforts were made to resuscitate the woman and child, it quickly became apparent that neither had survived the fall,” the report said.
Police said the child’s father was at the stadium at the time, adding that the mother and her son had been at a concession area before falling to their deaths. Authorities reportedly said the incident “appeared to be suspicious.” They are looking into whether the fall was an accident.
“It’s a horrible, horrible thing,” said Lt. Brown. “That’s why we’re giving it a very serious look.”
Dennis Bates, a Padres fan who spoke to CBS8, said, “I heard she tried to save her son, but how can a son fall over a rail? It’s pretty much impossible.”
On Monday, San Diego Democratic Mayor Todd Gloria told FOX 5 that he had been “fully briefed” by the police department, describing the situation as “horrifically tragic.”
“There are a lot of unusual circumstances around the case that we continue to investigate,” said Gloria. “It is suspicious.”
Gloria said that “there were several witnesses who were there who were clearly traumatized,” but “unfortunately no cameras.”
The Union-Tribune reported, “Several people who said they witnessed the fall were too shaken to talk,” and:
A man who did not wish to be identified said his wife witnessed the fall. She told him that it appeared a toddler fell from an area with picnic tables, and the woman also fell while trying to grab the child.
A woman who declined to give her name told the Union-Tribune she was walking across the Omni hotel footbridge leading to the ballpark when the incident occurred and didn’t see the fall. She said her husband witnessed a woman and child going over “the side from the third floor of Petco” outside Section 316.
The Padres franchise issued a statement on Sunday morning and indicated the organization would not comment further as law enforcement continues to investigate the tragedy.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park last evening,” the statement said. “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.”