HAYDEN, Idaho -

A woman was accidentally shot and killed by her two-year-old son at the Wal-Mart in Hayden, Idaho, Tuesday morning.

Lt. Stu Miller with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said the shooting happened at 10:20 a.m. as the 29-year-old woman -- identified late Tuesday afternoon as Veronica Rutledge of Blackfoot, Idaho -- was shopping with several children in the back of the store in the Electronics department.

"It appears that the victim brought several of her children here to do some shopping after the holidays,” Miller said during a media briefing in the parking lot Tuesday morning. "The child looks like to be sitting in the shopping cart with the purse while the female victim was shopping.”

Miller said the woman's two-year-old son, who was sitting in the shopping cart, grabbed a handgun that was concealed in her purse and fired the gun, hitting the woman.

Rutledge died at the scene.

“A very sad incident occurred at our store today involving the death of a female customer. We are fully cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies as they investigate this matter,” Aaron Mullins, senior manager for Walmart Media Relations, said over the phone early Tuesday afternoon.

“This is a pretty tragic incident right now that we're dealing with," Miller said.

The Wal-Mart was evacuated after the shooting and closed down. Employees seen leaving the store said they could not discuss anything about the shooting.

“The store actually evacuated all the patrons out of it, nobody else was hurt which is fortunate,” Miller said, adding that the store's manager confirmed the store will be closed through Wednesday morning at 6 a.m.

“A very sad incident occurred at our store today involving the death of a female customer. We are fully cooperating with the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies as they investigate this matter,” Aaron Mullins, senior manager for Walmart Media Relations, said over the phone early Tuesday afternoon.

Grief counselors are reportedly being made available for employees who want to talk about what happened.

Rutledge's accidental death is a reminder that all of us gun owners need to remain vigilant in safeguarding our firearms.

The critical balancing point that anyone with a concealed weapon seeks to find is making sure your gun remains accessible but always stays in the right hands. That's the point Rutledge was trying to find by having her gun close enough so she could protect herself and her family without letting someone who was inexperienced get a hold of it.

“There are a lot of quick access safes available. there are locking holsters that have retention, law enforcement always uses retention holsters,” Robin Ball, owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range said Tuesday afternoon.

Retention holsters block access to the trigger guard until someone uses their index finger to push a button that allows the pistol to be drawn out of the holster.

There are also alternatives to carrying a gun in your purse, like, for example, a fanny pack that's actually an easy access holster. In fact, your purse may be the last place you want to carry a gun because experts say the purse itself makes you a target for crime.

“The other issue is, if you keep a firearm in your purse, your purse has to be off limits all the time,” Ball said. “You don't pull kids treats out of it, kids can't know what's in there, it has to be yours and yours alone and it has to be protected from that child or from a criminal who happens to walk by your shopping cart and grab it.”

Gun safety initiatives, like the National Rifle Association's Eddie the Eagle program – target kids as young as kindergartners with messages like what to do if they find a gun. Whether they've been bought for sport or for protection, the gun industry is coming up with new ways to keep pistols handy but away from inexperienced kids. However, experts say it's ultimately it's up to adults to find the right gear and habits to make sure carrying a gun for protection doesn't backfire on your family.

“You have to look at the big picture and find that balance between protecting your family and having that instant access to that firearm,” Ball said.