‘Everybody that met her … loved her,’ says relative of woman shot by toddler at Wal-Mart

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The video above is courtesy Inside Edition via NDN and the text below is courtesy CNN.

By Teri Genova and Dana Ford


(CNN) — The father-in-law of a mother fatally shot in an Idaho Wal-Mart by her 2-year-old son says she didn’t have a mean bone in her body.

“Everybody that met her, knew her, loved her,” Terry Rutledge said about Veronica Rutledge, 29.

She died Tuesday after her young son shot her accidentally while they were out shopping with other family members, authorities said.

Rutledge — who put herself through school and was a chemical engineer — “was a fun-loving, outgoing, outdoorsy person,” said Terry Rutledge. “Her family liked to camp, hike, do outdoorsy things. They loved being together,” he said.

He said that Veronica Rutledge had carried a gun for years and had extensive training.

“I cannot put any blame on my daughter-in-law because I know her, the training she’s had … I don’t take it lightly … I cannot put any negligence on her part. It was a terrible accident.”

Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger revealed details of the accident following an autopsy on Wednesday.

According to Wolfinger, the toddler removed the 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun from his mother’s new handbag, one that was “specifically designed for concealed carry of a firearm,” he said.

“The 2-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 store’s manager, who was nearby at the time, “stepped in and removed the firearm from the child,” Wolfinger said.

CNN’s Michael Martinez and Tony Marco contributed to this report.

™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • kathy gagliardi

    that gun should of been no where near that child who carries in a store with their young child its very dum thing to do

    • meg

      Just because she carried doesn’t make her dumb. I know lots of people who carry for their safety. There is nothing wrong with that. She made a mistake of not having the safety on or something. However she’s not dumb for carrying!

  • GAY K (@GKL1961)

    She could have been the best person or smartest person in the world…..But she should have put the safety on making her an idiot. I feel bad for her family but good grief, safety first.

    • meg

      She wasn’t an idiot. This was a terrible accident! She made a mistake, she had every right to carry! Man people are insensitive!

  • So Utah Mtn Gal

    While this was a very unfortunate accident, I do question why the gun had one in the chamber and was not on safety. I carry, and have two young grand sons. Never, at any time, is my purse or my weapon accessible to them. My bag is on my shoulder, out of their reach. I do not think this woman was stupid nor should she be degraded with vile comments. It was a horrible accident and we readers do not have the entire story. For those who do carry, just a horrible reminder that with the freedom to carry, comes great responsibility. She had every right to have that firearm on her in a store, yes, the fact that it ended up in a toddlers hands leaves one to wonder why and how it would be put into their reach.

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