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Pictured: Mother, 29, tragically shot dead at a Walmart by her 2-year-old son when he accidentally fired licensed gun concealed in her purse

walmart mom veronica rutledge

  • Woman killed in the accident at a Hayden, Idaho Walmart was 29-year-old Veronica J. Rutledge 
  • Authorities say she had a concealed weapons permit

Authorities in northern Idaho have identified the mother shot dead by her 2-year-old son as 29-year-old Veronica J. Rutledge of Blackfoot.

According to police, the boy was seated in a shopping cart when he reached into his mother's purse at a Walmart store, accessed the concealed gun and fired.

Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller tells reporters that the shooting was accidental and occurred in the store in Hayden, Idaho, a town about 40 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington.

Authorities say the woman was shopping in the electronics department with what are believed to be her four children Tuesday morning when the accident happened.

Tragic accident: A 2-year-old boy accidentally killed his a 29-year-old mother Veronica Rutledge at a Hayden, Idaho Walmart after reaching into her bag and triggering her hidden gun

Tragic accident: A 2-year-old boy accidentally killed his a 29-year-old mother Veronica Rutledge at a Hayden, Idaho Walmart after reaching into her bag and triggering her hidden gun

Unthinkable: People stand inside the Walmart in Hayden, Idaho on Tuesday after the two-year-old boy tragically killed his own mother while they shopped. The Walmart was evacuated and closed after the shooting, and the store's said it would reopen Wednesday at 6am

Unthinkable: People stand inside the Walmart in Hayden, Idaho on Tuesday after the two-year-old boy tragically killed his own mother while they shopped. The Walmart was evacuated and closed after the shooting, and the store's said it would reopen Wednesday at 6am

Woman shot at Walmart in Idaho by two-year-old son

They say she was visiting from her hometown of Blackfoot, Idaho and looking to spend some gift cards the family received over the holidays.

The deadly incident was captured on video surveillance and several store employees also witnessed the event.

Miller says the woman, subsequently ID'd as Rutledge, had a concealed weapons permit.

The Walmart was evacuated and closed after the shooting, and the store's manager says it will reopen tomorrow at 6am.

Walmart responded to the tragic shooting in a statement issued this afternoon by spokesman Aaron Mullins: 'A very sad incident occurred at our store today involving the death of a female customer. We are fully cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies as they investigate this matter.' 

Miller says the woman, subsequently ID'd as Rutledge, had a concealed weapons permit.

Miller says the woman, subsequently ID'd as Rutledge, had a concealed weapons permit.

There do not appear to be reliable national statistics about the number of accidental fatalities involving children handling guns.

In neighboring Washington state, a 3-year-old boy was seriously injured in November when he was accidentally shot in the face by a 4-year-old neighbor. The boy was wounded as the children played in a home in Lake Stevens, about 30 miles north of Seattle.

In April, a 2-year-old boy apparently shot and killed his 11-year-old sister while they and their siblings played with a gun inside a Philadelphia home. Authorities said the gun was believed to have been brought into the home by the mother's boyfriend.

Hayden is a politically conservative town of about 9,000 people just north of Coeur d'Alene in Idaho's northern panhandle. 

Walmart responded to the tragic shooting in a statement issued this afternoon by spokesman Aaron Mullins: 'A very sad incident occurred at our store today involving the death of a female customer. We are fully cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies as they investigate this matter.'

Walmart responded to the tragic shooting in a statement issued this afternoon by spokesman Aaron Mullins: 'A very sad incident occurred at our store today involving the death of a female customer. We are fully cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies as they investigate this matter.'

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Comment by Anthony on January 4, 2015 at 1:45am
She was probably on FB or talking to one of her girls and totally ignored the kid, that is why she did not see him go into her bag :-/
Comment by Michele Richards on January 2, 2015 at 6:37pm
I wonder why she had a concealed weapon permit in the first place. Was her life threatened by someone. What was it issued for, maybe she needed it to protect herself from her significant other. Certainly was not concealed enough , if a two year old could find it so easily in her bag. What was she doing , how come she did not see him going in her bag to remove it. Her other child was in the store with them, so did she also not see her brother and shout out. Just wondering as its so sad all around. Better she had no gun permit she may be alive today. May her soul RIP!
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 2, 2015 at 1:13pm
Face it hell and heaven exist
Comment by Lizzette on January 2, 2015 at 9:18am
The child previously saw or touched this gun, he knew just where to find it and just how to cock it. SAD THO.
Comment by Ab Gai on January 2, 2015 at 1:06am
The safety wasn't engaged? She was shopping with an active gun in walmart? Something about this situation highlights a lack of responsibility on the owner's behalf.
Comment by Anthony on January 1, 2015 at 12:35pm
Keep buying them guns.......Some people have no sense of gun responsibility at all, they treat guns like it is an accessory. I can only imagine the trauma and guilt this kid will live with the rest of his life. Thanks mom!
Comment by Corliss Rogers on January 1, 2015 at 8:50am
How the f*** would a 2 year old know what a gun is.. cuz its being marketed to them through television. It's a shame that nobody realizes that.
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on January 1, 2015 at 12:12am
Comment by GospelPan on December 31, 2014 at 7:18pm
It's a shame that folks feel the need to carry a loaded gun into a supermarket ...not me....we are all dying a little every day, so why not live your life without fear. It's just not a good way to live...the very gun that was supposed to protect her, killed her...may she rest in peace.
Comment by Big Woman on December 31, 2014 at 3:48pm
Cosign @mikek, America's love affair with guns is the country's undoing. Watch Michael Moore's documentary 'Bowling for Columbine' to get a realistic perspective on the death and destruction that this gun obsession promulgates. A while ago I met someone who grew up in the south where guns are king and she said never pull a gun on anyone just to scare them, if you not willing to shoot to kill don't do it. She also stated that many people get killed by their own guns because often times that scenario leads to a struggle for the gun and the owner loses. I think its just better not to have them especially with kids around. Sorry for this family what a trajedy.

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