‘Everybody that met her … loved her,’ says relative of woman killed by son at Walmart

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Veronica Rutledge, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho, was shot and killed by her 2-year-old son in a Walmart. (Photo: Facebook)

(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.



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  • Skyler averly

    The woman was a killer, she loved guns, she loved to shoot, she loved to hunt and kill defenseless animals. This woman had lots of mean bones in her body, she loved to kill. The upside of all of this is that she will not be shooting anymore defenseless animals and will not be breeding more gun nuts. People are also saying this woman was intelligent, I guess that is what passes for intelligence in Idaho: taking your gun to the grocery store while you are watching a bunch of small children. Happiness is a warm gun, bang, bang, you dead now.

  • clint

    In those few seconds between the moment her intestines, bowels and other innards got splattered all over the electronics department and the moment she lost consciousness for the last time – let’s all hope that this woman learned a very valuable lesson about guns, children and stupidity.

  • beth

    And she would have considered herself a “responsible gun owner”. Therein lies the problems with guns – the owners. Guns don’t kill people – stupid gun owners kill people. And we let stupid gun owners own guns.

  • Esther Clark

    would people still think she was wonderful if the toddler had killed someone else, not her with her unsecured gun? By the way, these special gun purses aren’t to keep the guns more secure but to make them more easily accessible.