Mother: SDPD Officer Accidentally Shot Son's Crib

A San Diego Police Officer investigated for a fatal shooting of a homeless man in the Midway District, fired his gun accidentally weeks after returning to duty, lodging a bullet in a crib, an Oak Park mother told NBC 7 San Diego Friday.

"He left us traumatized," Kimberly Espinoza said.

Espinoza said she forgives San Diego Police Officer Neil Browder for accidentally shooting her son's crib in her home, but she and her family can't get over the incident.

"Because how can you be so reckless? My son wouldn't be here. I mean I'm grateful nothing happened to him but officers like that, you're not supposed to be scared of an officer," she told NBC 7 Friday in an exclusive interview.

After weeks of trying to learn more about the accidental shooting, the NBC 7 team received tips and uncovered documents leading us to the home on Bayview Heights Place where it happened.

Police confirm, on April 20, Officer Browder was conducting police duties when he accidentally discharged is firearm.

The bullet lodged into Espinoza's 1-year-old son's crib. She and the baby were in the kitchen at the time and were not injured.

"You're supposed to be careful. You're supposed to know there's a child in the house. Whether there is a child or not," said Espinoza.

NBC 7 San Diego
The SDPD officer's bullet accidentally lodged into the baby crib.

Ten months before the accidental shooting, Officer Browder was involved in an officer-involved shooting where he killed an unarmed, mentally ill man in the Midway District.

"It made me more mad because if that would've hit my son and he started firing because he saw a little boy in there. That's what he did last year. He didn't even give the guy a chance," she said.

Browder did not face criminal charges, although the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice have launched an investigation into the incident. We've reached out to San Diego police Friday night by phone and by email, but have not heard back yet.

In the past, a police department spokesman said a thorough investigation was immediately initiated and the case was looked into administratively, not criminally, because it was an accident.

Contact Us