The San Diego Police Department on Wednesday revealed the conclusion of its investigation into the deaths of Raquel Wilkins, 40, and her 2-year-old son, Denzel Browning-Wilkins, at a Padres game on Sept. 25, 2021.
Wilkins and his son fell approximately 60 feet from the third concourse at Petco Park to the sidewalk below before the Padres game began. At the time, the police considered the circumstances of their deaths “suspicious.” In a statement Wednesday, they classified the deaths as a suicide-homicide. Police said they reached that conclusion after consulting with the San Diego County Medical Examiner.
“Detectives conducted a thorough and thorough investigation that included dozens of interviews, review of available video footage, and collection of background information to determine what led to the deaths,” the statement read.
“SDPD understands the public’s concern and interest in this tragedy that occurred publicly in a place where the community gathers. We would like to thank everyone who came forward with information.”
Dan Gilleon, an attorney for the Wilkins family, disputed the police findings and claimed that the deaths of her and her son were an accident. He added that the conclusion of the investigation was an attempt to shield the city, which is a 70 percent stakeholder in Petco Park, from litigation. According to Yahoo! Sports, Gilleon is preparing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of San Diego.
“The city does not want to explain why it concluded that a young mother would kill her only child at an event where witnesses said she was happy,” Gilleon said in a text message to The Associated Press. “To me, the city is acting like any other defendant in a lawsuit: blaming the victim, especially if she can’t defend herself.”
Wilkins’ family also released a statement following the conclusion of the police investigation, saying she never expressed suicidal thoughts or tendencies.
“The family remembers Raquel as a happy person who loved life,” the family statement said. “In our experiences throughout her life, Raquel never expressed or showed self-injurious tendencies.”
The Padres later issued a statement to “reiterate our deepest condolences and condolences to the family of those involved in this tragedy.”