Police announced Monday that the child slipped from her grandfather’s hands and fell from the 11th story of a Royal Caribbean ship docked in Puerto Rico. She was the daughter of South Bend, Ind., police officer Alan Wiegand.
“We are saddened by the terrible accident that took the life of Officer Wiegand’s young daughter, and the city is holding this family in our hearts,” Buttigieg said in a tweet Monday night.
Buttigieg, one of the top contenders in the 2020 Democratic primary race, posted his message as he retweeted a statement from the South Bend Police, which said the department “offers its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time,” and asked for people “to pray for the Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy.”
The tragedy occurred Sunday, as the family was on the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship at the Panamerican dock in San Juan. Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman José Carmona told The Associated Press that the family was gathered in or near a dining hall on the 11th floor and that the grandfather sat the toddler on the edge of a window and apparently lost his grip. He said officials are investigating whether the window was already opened or if someone had opened it.
The family vacation had included the child, her siblings, parents and two sets of grandparents.
Buttigieg's public display of solidarity with the officer's family comes after he drew the ire of a police union over his handling of the shooting of a black man by a white officer. Buttigieg called for a special prosecutor to investigate, and said in a campaign email that "all police work and all of American life takes place in the shadow of racism."
Fox News’ Frank Miles and The Associated Press contributed to this report.