Home Main Category Personal Defense

Idaho woman accidentally shot and killed by 2-year-old in Wal-Mart

Big ChiefBig Chief Senior MemberPosts: 32,995 Senior Member
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/12/31/woman-accidentally-shot-and-killed-by-2-year-old-in-walmart/

"An Idaho nuclear research scientist who had taken her young relatives to Wal-Mart to spend their holiday gift cards was killed Tuesday when her 2-year-old son pulled a loaded pistol from her purse and shot her.

Deputies who responded found Veronica Rutledge, 29, dead in the Hayden store's electronics department in what Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller described as a "tragic accident." Rutledge, who worked at the Idaho National Laboratory, was from Blackfoot in southeastern Idaho, and her family had come to the area to visit relatives.

Rutledge had a concealed weapons permit. Miller said the young boy was left in a shopping cart, reached into his mother's purse and grabbed a small-caliber handgun, which discharged once.

The victim's father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, told The Associated Press that Veronica Rutledge "was a beautiful, young, loving mother."

"She was not the least bit irresponsible," Terry Rutledge said. "She was taken much too soon."

Miller said Rutledge's husband arrived shortly after the shooting. All the children were taken to a relative's house."
It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
«1

Replies

  • MississippiBoyMississippiBoy Senior Member Posts: 819 Senior Member
    Tragic, awful accident. But,
    Big Chief wrote: »
    She was not the least bit irresponsible," Terry Rutledge said. "She was taken much too soon."

    I disagree. If you leave a loaded gun (or any gun) where a 2 year old can reach it, you ARE irresponsible.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,382 Senior Member
    Yup. Purse carry = dumb. Can't find it in a hurry, and not always attached to you. . . as evidenced here.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    I'm kind of wondering how this happened, exactly. My son turns 2 tomorrow, and he's big for his age, but he has a hard time pointing a toy gun at anything, and pulling the trigger on my Nerf gun (I'd say it's about 8 or so lbs. trigger) is pretty difficult for him. Not to mention gripping the firearm, not unless he has a weird 2-hand grip.

    I'm sorry, but the story doesn't add up. And I also agree, if it happened the way the report says it did, she was irresponsible. I feel really bad for the kid.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,577 Senior Member
    Walmart has FANTASTIC cameras--especially in the electronics department. They would tell the tale. If the toddler reached I the purse and yanked on some keys or something, it may have set off the gun.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I'm going to guess things went something like this:

    Small striker-fired automatic, maybe .25 or .32 caliber (Davis, Lorcin, etc.)
    Safety off
    Purse-carried with no covering device to prevent something getting into the trigger guard
    Kid rummaging around in the purse while Mama shops
    BANG!

    Nope, nothing irresponsible here!
    :roll:
    Jerry
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,591 Senior Member
    I'm sorry, but the story doesn't add up.

    I feel the same. Seems like it would have to have been a very light trigger pull weight and few (if any) safeties. In any case, you'd think a nuclear scientist would be smart enough to know better than to leave the gun where the kid could get to it. First thing I told my wife when we talked about this last night was "That's why you don't carry in a purse".
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    "That's why you don't carry in a purse".

    Exactly- - - - -not to mention the very real possibility of arming a purse-snatcher so he can be a more effective criminal at his next attempt!
    Jerry
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    It's not called the Terrible Twos for nothing. Nevertheless, this story stinks. I've never seen a 2 year old capable of grasping a pistol and pulling the trigger. OK, maybe a 2 year old Klingon. For a two year old to pick up the weapon with one hand, pull the trigger with the other, and it's aimed right at Dear Ol' Mom adds up to a perfect storm of highly unlikely coincidences. Possible? Possibly. Unlikely? Definitely.

    I called the Kootenai County (Idaho) Sheriff's Department, and asked what kind of gun was involved. They were unable to tell me at this time as the incident was still under investigation, however I was told to check their website periodically for more information as it becomes available.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,137 Senior Member
    Along with a few others...I am not an advocate of purse carry....however...if you absolutely, positively MUST carry your firearm in a purse...there are several products that specifically designed to do that, with a dedicated pocket for the firearm...I bought my wife two...one in black and one in brown which pretty much covers all the distaff fashion needs... Kelli carries that way often - but is never complacent about it.

    I would say that carrying in that manner sure isn't a recipe for a fast draw, but then neither is an ankle holster.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I agree, the ankle holster was a big fail for me the first time I tried it, brand new good brand and it dumped my revolver on the ground.

    Purses, even dedicated gun purses, not to include fanny packs, are a bad idea because the purse is not under direct control and can be laid down or lost and easily stolen.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,137 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Purses, even dedicated gun purses, not to include fanny packs, are a bad idea because the purse is not under direct control and can be laid down or lost and easily stolen.

    This is what my wife NEVER does...she's very cognizant that her gun is in there...certainly not the way to carry for a scatterbrain...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Then there is a certain amount of "Yoink factor" too, purses can be snatched away, Female LEOs stopped carrying in purses long ago....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • VargetVarget Member Posts: 99 Member
    eventually it will come out what gun caused this tragic incident. I will guess glock, kahr or similar gun with no external thumb safety. Pull trigger gun goes boom.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    http://m.spokesman.com/stories/2015/jan/01/gun-toddler-used-to-shoot-mom-was-in-purses/

    It was a S&W Shield 9mm

    Very sad and regrettable and a hard legacy for that child to grow up with.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • VargetVarget Member Posts: 99 Member
    would venture to say it is the newer model with no thumb safety. Unfortunately if she would have chosen the model with thumb safety we most likely would not be having this discussion.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    Varget wrote: »
    would venture to say it is the newer model with no thumb safety. Unfortunately if she would have chosen the model with thumb safety we most likely would not be having this discussion.
    This supposes that the user had enough sense to engage the thumb safety. Which is why I don't go all apoplectic over a firearm having or not having an external safety. Someone who can shoot themselves with a firearm lacking that measure will figure out a way to do it with one that has one, and attributing the presence or absence of an external safety to a negligent discharge just plays into the anti-gunner's hands.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • VargetVarget Member Posts: 99 Member
    Let me re-state, if the user had the shield with an external safety and it was being used properly, we would not be having this conversation most likely. Whether it plays into the hands of the anti-gunner hands or not, it is most likely fact.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    If the user had taken proper precautions to begin with, whether or not the handgun had an external safety would have been irrelevant and we wouldn't be reading this story because this wouldn't have happened.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • VargetVarget Member Posts: 99 Member
    I am not disagreeing, but do you not believe that a properly engaged thumb safety would have prevented this tragic case in this incident as well?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,137 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Then there is a certain amount of "Yoink factor" too, purses can be snatched away, Female LEOs stopped carrying in purses long ago....

    Yes.. it is a hazard inherent with that mode of carry....as I've described here in the past...we had a friend who had her purse grabbed by a couple of thugs at the mall back in MI...only issue was...she didn't let go. She got a beating that put her in the hospital. From her hospital bed, she always said that she felt worse about loosing her gun to a thug than taking the beating...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    I believe it, but I see the supposition that the presence of a safety in these instances as something that would have prevented the problem as dubious at best. By the time someone gets shot with their own firearm, be it by themselves or someone else, so many things have gone wrong generally that "just one more thing" would probably not have prevented it. A tremendous downward slide had already begun, and the presence/absence of a properly engaged safety is really just a speed bump, not a major obstacle.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • VargetVarget Member Posts: 99 Member
    In this case I believe the proper use of a manual safety would have been a major speed bump and a giant obstacle for a 2 year old unfortunately.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    That assumes it happened as reported. Again: if she was responsible enough to use a thumb safety, she probably would have been responsible enough to keep the kid from getting to the handgun in the first place. If that's what happened.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    Three cheers for 'safe action' type guns that are pre-cocked when chambered and discharge with a light trigger pull. What could possibly go wrong? Every gun needs either a very long and heavy trigger pull like a revolver, or redundant manual safeties that act as true 'off' switches. And don't give me the responsibility argument - people are people -and they (we) are all going to make mistakes. A mistake in a moment of blind lust is probably how some of us got here to begin with. Errors get made, poo-poo happens, and it isn't too much to ask that our firearms have a mechanism we can operate at a moment when we're paying attention to help cover the moment when, for whatever reason, we're distracted.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Varget wrote: »
    In this case I believe the proper use of a manual safety would have been a major speed bump and a giant obstacle for a 2 year old unfortunately.

    I tend to agree that an actual external manual safety would have prevented this kid from simply pulling the trigger to fire the weapon. That much is very likely.

    But as bream says, other things happened to set up this tragedy. Yeah, IF the gun had an external safety, yeah, it's unlikely the kid would have flipped off the safety first and then pulled the trigger. So I do disagree technically with bream, in that imo, a safety would have prevented the discharge.

    But to extend what bream says, allowing a child (a baby, actually) to put its hands on a loaded weapon? Total abrogation of parental responsibility. So he's totally correct on the general issue of a downward slide.

    Later reports say that the pistol was in a special side pocket meant for a firearm and that it was not a case of the gun accidentally catching on a fabric or whatever, that the child actually did pull the trigger.

    The operative point, as I see it, was that the woman allowed her firearm to be accessible to a child, even for 4-5 seconds. All of us who've raised kids know that it only takes a split second for a child to do something hazardous. Consider little kids reaching up and pulling a boiling pan or pot upon themselves from the stovetop. That's why parents learn to turn the handles toward the back. Or to keep kitchen knives or pointy scissors totally in a drawer and away from eager little hands.

    Little kids are by human nature inquisitive and reachy -- and as you who've raised kids know, if there are 99 non-harmful things within reach and only 1 harmful thing, the kid will ALWAYS reach for that one sharp knife or hot spoon or whatever. Murphy's Law.

    This was a terrible tragedy but preventable. And the situation was also "covered" by the standard firearm safety rules that we all know: You are always responsible for a loaded gun.
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    Three cheers for 'safe action' type guns that are pre-cocked when chambered and discharge with a light trigger pull. What could possibly go wrong? Every gun needs either a very long and heavy trigger pull like a revolver, or redundant manual safeties that act as true 'off' switches. And don't give me the responsibility argument - people are people -and they (we) are all going to make mistakes. A mistake in a moment of blind lust is probably how some of us got here to begin with. Errors get made, poo-poo happens, and it isn't too much to ask that our firearms have a mechanism we can operate at a moment when we're paying attention to help cover the moment when, for whatever reason, we're distracted.

    I agree, and let us go one step further, and put mandatory gun locks on all firearms. This would have prevented this as well. You could just keep the key on a wrist chain, and unlock it whenever it is needed. And also no one was ever shot accidentally with a gun prior to 1982 when the Glock was introduced. It is also a proven fact that no child has ever been killed by the 1911, because it has a safety. This death has nothing to do with maintaining control of your firearm, it is about safeties.:roll:
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I agree, and let us go one step further, and put mandatory gun locks on all firearms. This would have prevented this as well. You could just keep the key on a wrist chain, and unlock it whenever it is needed. And also no one was ever shot accidentally with a gun prior to 1982 when the Glock was introduced. It is also a proven fact that no child has ever been killed by the 1911, because it has a safety. This death has nothing to do with maintaining control of your firearm, it is about safeties.:roll:

    Oooooh kay....
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,886 Senior Member
    You said...
    horselips wrote: »
    Three cheers for 'safe action' type guns that are pre-cocked when chambered and discharge with a light trigger pull. What could possibly go wrong? Every gun needs either a very long and heavy trigger pull like a revolver, or redundant manual safeties that act as true 'off' switches. And don't give me the responsibility argument - people are people -and they (we) are all going to make mistakes. A mistake in a moment of blind lust is probably how some of us got here to begin with. Errors get made, poo-poo happens, and it isn't too much to ask that our firearms have a mechanism we can operate at a moment when we're paying attention to help cover the moment when, for whatever reason, we're distracted.

    What you meant was: I don't know how to properly handle a firearm, and rely on mechanical means to prevent me from being stupid and hurting myself.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    This death has nothing to do with maintaining control of your firearm, it is about safeties.

    Yea that's it.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    You said...

    What you meant was: I don't know how to properly handle a firearm, and rely on mechanical means to prevent me from being stupid and hurting myself.

    :that:
    No amount of safeties will prevent a negligent discharge. The ONLY installed safety that matters is the one installed between the ears.

    Woman should not have left purse with pistol in shopping cart with child. This is a gross failure of keeping the firearm out of the reach of the child. And this resulted in the tragedy that could have been avoided.

    Edit to add: any revolver or semiauto pistol can be made safe for the safe handling challenged by carrying with the cylinder empty in the case of the revolver, or the chamber empty and magazine removed in the case of the semiauto. But I still bet someone would have a ND doing that.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement