Veronica Rutledge, the young mother who was accidentally killed by her 2-year-old son a few days ago, was a nuclear scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory. The facility is part of the Department of Energy. Her death is a profound loss for the country.
Yet, it is an even greater loss for her family. Her surviving husband Colt is grieving over her loss and the way in which she passed away. He had given his wife a new handgun for Christmas. That should not be construed by anyone to believe she was a novice. Both Colt and Veronica were licensed gun owners. Mrs. Rutledge had taken courses in the use of a firearm. In fact, both she and her husband carried a concealed weapon every day.
Colt’s father explained that his son grew up around guns and knows how to use them safely. This makes the incident all the more tragic and ironic. After Christmas, Mrs. Rutledge took her nieces, nephews, and son to the local Walmart so they could make purchases with their Christmas gift cards. She had her handgun zipped away in a special compartment in her purse. The purse itself was designed for this use.
Unfortunately, she left the purse unattended momentarily at which time her son fished through the purse and withdrew the firearm. It went off striking her fatally in the head. Her husband expressed deep heaviness over the fact that as his son gets older, he will have to learn the truth about how his mother died. It will be a difficult thing for him to get past.