HAYDEN, Idaho – A woman shopping at a Wal-Mart in North Idaho was shot to death when her 2-year-old son grabbed her gun and it discharged, authorities told local television stations Tuesday.
The shooting took place in a Wal-Mart in Hayden, and left a woman in her late 20s dead, Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.
Preliminary investigation revealed the shooting was accidental, Miller said.
Miller told KXLY — a station based in Spokane, Washington, and nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho — that the woman was shopping with several children at the back of the store in the electronics department. Her 2-year-old son grabbed a handgun concealed in her purse and shot her, Miller told KXLY.
The Spokesman-Review reported that deputies were assuming the victim was the mother of the boy but it was unknown how or if she was related to the three other children she had with her. The Associated Press later reported that authorities confirmed the 2-year-old was the woman’s son.
The boy was riding in a shopping cart when he pulled the gun from the woman’s purse and shot her, the Spokane newspaper reported.
The victim had taken the children to Wal-Mart to spend holiday gift cards, according to the newspaper.
The Wal-Mart was closed for the day and planned to reopen at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Miller said on Twitter, citing the store manager.
The victim was in town for the holiday and was not from North Idaho, deputies told KREM. She had a concealed weapons permit, Spokane-based KREM reported.
Hayden, just north of Coeur d’Alene, has about 14,000 residents, according to census data.