Toddler fatally shoots mom in Idaho Walmart

HAYDEN, Idaho—A woman was shot and killed by her toddler son inside a Hayden Walmart Tuesday morning.

According to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, 29-year-old Veronica Rutledge from Blackfoot, Idaho was shopping with the 2-year-old boy and other family members when the shooting happened at about 10:20 a.m.

The boy, who was sitting in the shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse and grabbed her gun, according to sheriff's officials. The gun went off, striking the woman.

The sheriff's office says the shooting appears to be an accident.

Deputies said Rutledge and her family were in the back of the store near the electronics area when the gun went off. Employees and shoppers were evacuated from the store, and detectives are inside gathering information from the scene. They are viewing surveillance video and talking to witnesses as part of the investigation.

Officials said the mother had a concealed weapons permit.

Deputies said Rutledge was in town for holidays.

The store will remain closed until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

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."


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