A witness to a mother and toddler's deadly fall at Petco Park said the mother had a close call while jumping on a picnic table bench, with her 2-year-old son in her arms, near the ledge of an upper concourse. The witness said she was shocked to see the mother climb up on the bench with her son a second time.
"She lost her balance and fell off the bench. I remarked to my son, 'Oh my gosh she almost fell,'" the witness, who did not want to be identified, wrote in a statement shared with NBC 7.
The mother, child and a man were sitting at a picnic table on the third concourse of the stadium at around 4 p.m. Saturday, just before the first pitch of the San Diego Padres game, according to the San Diego Police Department.
The witness said she was sitting with her son at the table next to the mother and toddler.
"The man that was with her was standing by the railing as the woman started jumping on the bench of the table closest to the railing, holding the baby in her arms. She seemed happy — laughing," the witness said.
That's when the mother fell off the bench the first time.
"About 30 seconds or a minute later, she jumped back up and did it again, facing the man as she jumped with the baby," the witness recalled. "I remember saying, 'I can’t believe she’s doing that again,' and then she was gone... From my vantage point, looking at her back, it was almost like she rolled over the railing. I told my son, 'Oh my gosh she went over!'"
Game day employee Shannon Denbow told NBC 7 she returned to the ballpark the morning after the deadly fall and took pictures of the picnic area where the mother and child had fallen from.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are still gathering evidence and speaking with any possible witnesses.
"We do know that there were a lot of people that were up on the concourse area that may have information about this and if anyone has any information, we would certainly like to hear from them," SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said over the weekend.
The witness described what she saw to police shortly after the incident.
"There were no screams: It was just eerily quiet. Unfortunately, we heard the sound when they hit the ground," the witness said.
Responding officers found the mother and child severely injured on the pavement below along Tony Gwynn Way, SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said.
Emergency responders tried to revive them with CPR but due to their severe injuries, both the mother and toddler died before they could be taken to a hospital.
The victims’ deaths appeared to be suspicious and, out of an abundance of caution, the San Diego Police Homicide Unit was called to the scene, Brown said.
"It’s far too early for us to have any information as to whether or not this is intentional or accidental," Brown said on Saturday.
The mother, 40, and child, 2, have not been identified. They were both San Diego residents, SDPD said.
"We are speaking to the father of the child, they are not married but we are speaking to him," the lieutenant added.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
'We Are Deeply Saddened by the Loss of Life at Petco Park'
The San Diego Padres released a statement about the deadly incident at their home stadium.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life at Petco Park last evening," the club said in a press release Sunday. "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.”
San Diegan Brian Howell was at the ballpark on Saturday and said many of the fans who were there to watch the game weren't aware of what happened at Petco Park. Howell said police and stadium crews began keeping people away from the scene of the incident a little after it happened.
"They were just keeping us away from that area, we thought it was standard protocol but everyone along this side was keeping us out of that area," Howell said. "All we heard was that there might have been an unfortunate incident."