Veronica J Rutledge a 29 year old mother was this morning shot dead by her two year old toddler son after the boy inadvertently reached into her purse and discharged a concealed handgun whilst shopping at a Hayden, Idaho, Walmart store.
At the time of the incident, the boy was seated in a shopping cart as the mother took her son and her four other children shopping in the electronics department when the gun went off at 10.20 am, killing the woman instantly.
The shooting, caught on surveillance tape would be deemed an accident, with employees and shoppers mandated to evacuate the store.
Authorities would tell that Rutledge was in town for the holidays and was not from the area and had specifically come to the store looking to spend some gift cards the family received over the holidays.
The victim’s father-in-law, Terry Rutledge said Ms Rutledge ‘was a beautiful, young, loving mother’.
Adding: ‘She was not the least bit irresponsible,’
She was taken much too soon.’
According to The Spokesman-Review, Veronica J Rutledge was a nuclear research scientist and was employed by Idaho National Laboratory.
Pursuant to the accident, a Walmart spokesperson, Aaron Mullins would issue the follow 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.”
Walmart would advise that the store would remain closed until 6 am Wednesday.
Officials would add the mother had a concealed weapons permit, nevertheless fierce debate would ignite with many asking why in the face of haphazard ongoing gun tragedies that there hasn’t been a reconsideration of gun laws?