Mother and child die after fall at Petco Park before Padres game

A woman and her 2-year-old son died 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.

The woman, 40, and the boy were pronounced dead at 4:11 p.m., about 20 minutes after police were alerted to the incident, said homicide Lt. Andra Brown.

The pair fell from the third-level concourse — the equivalent of six stories high — to the sidewalk below on Tony Gwynn Drive, Brown said. Although efforts were made to resuscitate the woman and child, it quickly became apparent that neither had survived the fall, she said.

Their names were not released; both lived in San Diego. The mother and child had been at a dining/concession area on the concourse level prior to the fall, said police Lt. Adam T. Sharki. The child’s father was at the ballpark when the deaths occurred, police reported.

Police said it is too early to know whether the fall was accidental or intentional but noted that the deaths “appeared to be suspicious.”

Brown said there may have been a number of people in the concourse area who might have more information, which, she said, could potentially “give the family some peace.”

“Our hearts obviously go out to the family, but also to the people who here could potentially be traumatized who saw this,” Brown said. “It’s a horrible, horrible thing. That’s why we’re giving it a very serious look.”

The incident horrified fans who had come to Petco Park to cheer on the Padres taking on the Atlanta Braves at the tail end of the baseball season. Posts on social media reflected the sadness and shock of those who had seen what happened, and others in the stands at the 4:15 p.m. game talked about it among themselves.

“I’m just sitting in my seat crying,” one fan tweeted. “Wtf even matters right now on the field knowing what went down here. If anyone is at Petco and needs a hug I’m down. This is beyond devastating.”

Several people who said they witnessed the fall were too shaken to talk.

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 San Diego 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.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information is asked to call the San Diego police at (619) 531-2293 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Union-Tribune staff writer Kristina Davis contributed to this report.

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