Toddler Accidentally Shoots, Kills Mother At North Idaho Walmart

Dec 30, 2014

This story was updated at 5:18 p.m. 

The Kootenai County Sheriff's office confirms a 2-year-old boy shot and killed his mother inside a North Idaho Walmart.

In a press release, officials write the accidental shooting occurred at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, inside a Hayden, Idaho Walmart.

The 29-year-old woman was found dead on the scene. She's been identified as Veronica J. Rutledge of Blackfoot, Idaho.

"Her son was seated in the shopping cart and accessed the victims' concealed weapon from her purse and discharged it, striking the victim."

The sheriff's office says the shooting appears to be an accident, and are investigating.  

“Unfortunately she left a concealed weapon that was readily accessible to the child. It’s a tragedy. Accidental," says Lt. Stu Miller. "[It] Probably could have been prevented through some safety and security measures.”

Walmart will remain closed until Wednesday morning at 6.

This story was updated at 1:42 p.m.

The Associated Press now reports it's unclear if the woman fatally shot by a toddler was the child's mother.

The Spokesman-Review reports the 2-year-old got a loaded handgun out of the woman's handbag.

"The 2-year-old was riding in a shopping cart and pulled the gun from her purse and shot her, Lt. Stu Miller told the Spokesman. The newspaper writes, "Sheriff’s deputies assume the woman is the boy’s mother, but are still investigating, he said. It’s not clear whether all four children are related to her."

This story was originally posted 1:10 p.m.

KXLY is reporting a woman was accidentally shot and killed by her toddler Tuesday morning in a North Idaho Walmart.

The woman has not yet been identified, at least one news report says she was 29-years-old and shopping with four children.

Lt. Stu Miller with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said there was one victim, a female in her 20s, who was killed, and that it was an accidental shooting.

During a media briefing, Miller said the woman's two-year-old son grabbed a handgun concealed in her purse and shot her. -

The Associated Press reports the shooting has evacuated and closed the Hayden, Idaho Walmart.

According to KXLY, the woman was browsing near the back of the store when the incident occurred.

KREM 2 reports the woman did have a concealed weapons permit.