Originally published October 10, 2011 at 4:03 p.m., updated October 10, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.
A man died Monday in a fall from a multi-story parking structure at Civic Center Plaza, where members of the Occupy San Diego protest campaign have been staging ongoing rallies since last week.
The fatal fall at the municipal courtyard next to City Hall occurred about 3:15 p.m., according to police. Medics pronounced the 42-year-old victim, who was not immediately identified, dead at the scene. Police Capt. Mark Jones said the preliminary determination was that it was a suicide.
North Park resident Susan Smith, 64, an attendee at the demonstration against perceived political corruption and corporate greed, said she caught a peripheral glimpse of the victim dropping toward a walkway near Downtown Johnny Brown's restaurant, then disappearing behind some trees.
"The sound when (he) hit the ground was horrible," said. "It was just horrible. I'll never forget that sound."
Kali Katt, a spokeswoman for Occupy San Diego, released a statement in which the group expressed regret for the death, asserting, "Any loss of life is tragic."
Police closed the walkway and part of the 11-story parking building while investigating the fatality.
It is unknown if the man was connected to the Occupy demonstrations.
Occupy San Diego, an offshoot of a series of protests that have cropped up in cities across the nation over the last three weeks, began Friday afternoon. The purpose of the open-ended demonstration is to stand up against "the global financial corruption currently invading politics, media and corporations, exemplified by the recent financial-industry meltdown and subsequent recession," according to the group's website.