‘Everybody that met her … loved her,’ says relative of woman killed by son at Walmart
(CNN) — The father-in-law of a mother fatally shot in an Idaho Walmart 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 grabbed a gun that was in her purse and shot her in an apparent accident, authorities have said. The two were out shopping with other family members when the shooting occurred.
Rutledge put herself through school and was a chemical engineer, Terry Rutledge said.
“She was a fun-loving, outgoing, outdoorsy person. Her family liked to camp, hike, do outdoorsy things. They loved being together,” he said.
He added that she 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,” said Terry Rutledge.
He told CNN affiliate KREM 2 that the gun used in the shooting had been kept in a concealed zipper pouch in her purse.
One gun expert described what happened as a “perfect storm.”
The toddler was able to unzip the pocket and grab the gun — without being noticed. He was also able to grip the gun and exert sufficient force to fire, at least three pounds, Robin Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop in Spokane, Washington, told KREM 2.
“Murphy’s law just came into play today in so many ways and there are irreversible consequences for that,” Ball said.