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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 Bombahdrop on December 31, 2014 at 2:35pm
You live by the gun you die by the gun.
Comment by Bombahdrop on December 31, 2014 at 2:34pm
You live by the gun you will die by the gun.
Comment by Andra Dickerson on December 31, 2014 at 12:52pm
How would a 2 year old know what a gun does or what it is. That's is ignorant to say a 2 year old toddler thinks that way. It was not his fault that happened parents should be more cautious about what they leave around children. If it were a child that did the same thing to another child they would blame the parents for leaving it where the children could get it. So it is the same situation she should have not left the gun where a baby can access it. It is a loss for him mostly and he is already going to be traumatized by the accident for the rest of his life why would you want to post something like that about a child you people need to find something else to say and take into consideration how that baby is going to feel.
Comment by mr fix on December 31, 2014 at 12:19pm
Two Words (SAFETY PIN)
Comment by Maina 85 on December 31, 2014 at 12:18pm
For those who are saying the boy knew at two years old that a gun would kill or hurt is ridiculous. Children under 5 make mistakes all the time. This was a tragedy. ..
Comment by Willie Ward on December 31, 2014 at 11:48am
Yaya
Comment by CALEE on December 31, 2014 at 11:29am
I'm with you Roots.
Comment by Roots aka TJ What De Ras on December 31, 2014 at 11:17am
This was no accident. The kid knew what a gun is use for.
Comment by GUNMAN ah Come on December 31, 2014 at 10:59am
Gun should have been on her person. Inside an (IWB) inside the waistband-holster. Not in her purse, carelessly strewn about groceries in her shopping cart. Pure negligence on her part. Luckily, it was her and only her who paid the price and not an innocent individual.
Comment by Mike k on December 31, 2014 at 10:28am
Testament to America's ridiculous & unwavering endorsement and proliferation of guns in the interest of profit and little regards for the safety/lives of it's citizens.

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