An mother who had taken her children to Walmart was killed Tuesday when her 2-year-old son pulled a loaded pistol from her purse and shot her.
At about 10:20 a.m., the 29-year-old and several of her children were in the electronics section of the store when the young boy, who was sitting in the shopping cart, reportedly grabbed a gun that was in his mother’s purse and fired it. According to KXLY, the woman died at the scene.
The Walmart was subsequently evacuated, and employees were told not to comment on what had happened while authorities investigated.
“The store actually evacuated all the patrons out of it, nobody else was hurt which is fortunate,” Kootenai County Lt. Stu Miller said.
“This is a pretty tragic incident right now that we’re dealing with,” Miller said at a press briefing the morning of the shooting.
“It appears that the victim brought several of her children here to do some shopping after the holidays. The child looks to be sitting in the shopping cart with the purse while the female victim was shopping.”
Miller and Sheriff Ben Wolfinger released a statement saying that the shooting was deemed accidental.
The Walmart will reportedly reopen on Wednesday morning, according to sheriff’s office. The store responded to the shooting, saying that an investigation is ongoing.
“A very sad incident happened in our store in Hayden, Idaho that involved a female customer,” Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan said. “We are working closely with the local sheriff’s department as they investigate what happened.”