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Idaho Toddler Accidentally Kills Mother In Walmart With Her Own Gun

Veronica J. Rutledge

A mom died Tuesday after her toddler reached into her purse and accidentally discharged her handgun, authorities said.

Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho, was shopping at a Walmart in this Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, suburb with four children in tow. One of the children, a boy about 2 years old, was left in a shopping cart, reached into his mother’s purse at about 10:20 a.m. MT, and the weapon went off once, said Lt. Stu Miller, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

“It appears to be a pretty tragic accident,” Miller said. Rutledge was dead by the time deputies arrived.

Deputies weren’t immediately aware of how all the children and Rutledge were related. She had traveled to Hayden, about 400 miles northwest of Blackfoot, to visit relatives for the holidays, Miller said.

The woman’s husband was not in the store when the shooting occurred but arrived shortly after, the lieutenant said. All of the children were taken to a relative’s house.

The store closed after the shooting and won’t reopen until Wednesday morning, according to Walmart management.

Source: USA Today

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