Pepper spraying and shooting for discounts on Black Friday
Violent incidents have so far been reported from coast-to-coast in cities ranging from Los Angeles to Myrtle Beach as consumers lined up hours ahead of store openings in hopes of getting the best deals. As reports of violence continue to come in, however, some shoppers went away not with discounted video games and flat screen TVs, but rather bullet holes and bloodshot eyes.
In San Leandro, California, a shopper outside of an area Wal-Mart was reported in critical condition early Friday after being robbed at gunpoint by a gang of rogue bargain hunters who opted to avoid the hours of waiting in line in lieu of getting their goods the old fashioned way.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only gun battle that brought in the holiday shopping season.
In Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Sheriff’s Department was looking for two armed suspects early Friday after a series of shots were fired outside of a mall in Cumberland County. According to the Associated Press, at least two suspects opened fire outside of the food court, after which another person involved ran into the shopping center. Only 100 miles south of Fayetteville, a local NBC affiliate in Myrtle Beach adds that a 55-year-old shopper was shot and wounded after being held at gunpoint in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Across the country in California, authorities were still looking Friday morning for a woman whom they say opened a round of pepper-spray in a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart, injuring around 20 people, leaving them with blurry vision. Law enforcement in LA say that they haven’t been able to identify the woman responsible yet, but believe she shot the spray near the store’s electronic department to keep other shoppers from snagging her deals.
"I heard screaming and I heard yelling," Matthew Lopez, an 18-year-old shopper, tells the LA Times this morning. "Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up."
The LA Wal-Mart stayed open throughout the incident. After all, Wii video games were going for only $10.