(This information was compiled from initial Associated Press reports and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office PIO.)
New as of December 31, 2014:
Kootenai County Sheriff Press Release:
Hayden, ID - *Update to earlier release regarding the accidental shooting incident that occurred on December 30, 2014 at the Hayden Walmart store. Detectives attended the autopsy this morning for shooting victim, Veronica J. Rutledge and new details are being released.
Mrs. Rutledge had been shopping in the Hayden Walmart with her two-year old son and three other relatives under the age of eleven. While her son was seated in the shopping cart and Mrs. Rutledge was within a few feet of the cart, her son accessed Mrs. Rutledge’s concealed 9mm Smith & Wesson M&P ShieldTM semi-automatic handgun from her purse. The purse was specifically designed for concealed carry of a firearm and was new to her. The two-year old removed the firearm from the purse and fired one bullet from the pistol. The bullet struck Mrs. Rutledge in the head, killing her instantly. The Walmart store manager, who was nearby when the gun was fired, stepped in and removed the firearm from the child. The manager and store employees reacted quickly and efficiently to secure the scene and escort the patrons from the store as first responders were arriving. Detectives have recovered the store’s video and are in the process of examining it. They are also examining the weapon to include the safety mechanism and ballistics and conducting follow up interviews with witnesses. Further information is not available at this time. The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public for the outpouring of support for the familyand friends of Mrs. Rutledge as well as the first responders. To Veronica’s family, we offer oursincerest condolences.Ben Wolfinger, SheriffBy: Lieutenant Stu Miller
Today (Tuesday) in Hayden, Idaho a boy accidentally shot and killed his mother in a Wal-Mart store. The tragic story unfolded late in the morning. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s office says the two-year-old boy reached into his mom's purse and her concealed gun fired.
Sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller told reporters the woman was shopping with several children. Earlier the office said it was unclear how they were related, but later in the day confirmed the boy was the woman's son.
Authorities say the 29 year old woman had a concealed weapons permit. Her identity has not been released.
Miller says the shooting was accidental. The Hayden Wal-Mart staff evacuated shoppers and closed after the shooting.
Click to see Wal-Mart location: https://goo.gl/maps/86JQs