A two-year-old boy shot and killed his mother in a northern Idaho Walmart today.
Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, was shopping with her son and three other children. It was while the young boy was being pushed in a shopping cart that he reportedly reached into her purse and accidentally pulled the trigger of her concealed firearm.
The shooting took place in the electronics department of the store, which is located in Hayden, Idaho, about 40 miles (64km) northeast of Spokane, Washington.
KREM-TV reports that video surveillance in the store, as well as witnesses on the scene, helped deputies determine that the shooting was accidental. Hayden authorities said Rutledge had a permit for a concealed weapon. Kootenai County sheriff’s spokesman Stu Miller said she and her family were from Blackfoot in southeastern Idaho, and had come to visit relatives in the area.
Walmart issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:
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.
The company plans to reopen the Hayden location on Wednesday, December 31st.
According to the Associated Press, “Hayden is a politically conservative town of about 9,000 people just north of Coeur d’Alene in Idaho’s northern panhandle.”