The day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday got its name because it puts retailers in the black regarding their profits. To say it is the biggest shopping day of the year is an understatement. 2011's Black Friday will go down with its various violent incidences. In the past many of the big retail stores opened early at 4 a.m. and beyond. This year was a first to open on Thanksgiving night for stores like Walmart. Whether this is a recipe for disaster remains to be seen. Having all-night shopping sprees for people who are not use to these early morning hours sets them up for crimes and short-tempered encounters with other shoppers.
Not all Black Friday crimes and scuffles happen in lower-end neighborhood shopping malls and superstores. In a wealthy suburb in Los Angeles a woman peppered sprayed nearby shoppers at a Walmart. She was marking her territory to get her hands on some Xbox video game consoles. Nearly 20 people were injured. Authorities were looking over store security tapes to find the woman estimated in her 30s. Since then she has turned herself into the authorities.
Another Walmart shopper in San Leandro, Calif., was shot by robbers as he was walking to his car in a crowded parking lot at 1:45 a.m. Friday. He resisted the robbers as they tried to steal his purchases. The victim was assisted by his companions, who held down one of the robbers until police arrived. He remains in critical but stable condition at a nearby hospital. One man has been arrested. Even more tragic Black Friday injuries and deaths have happened over the years.
Fatal Stampede at Walmart -- 2008
One of the most tragic of all took place at a Walmart in Long Island, N.Y., in 2008. More than 2,000 shoppers stampeded the store five minutes before it was to open. A 34-year -old male temporary employee was trampled to death. Other fellow employees tried to help him, but were also knocked down by the unruly crowds.
Walmart Miscarriage -- 2008
At the same Walmart location in Long Island where the store employee was killed, an eight-month pregnant woman went to buy baby items for her newborn. She was part of the crowd trying to get in but ended up unconscious while lying on the ground near the store entrance. Later on she miscarried.
Shootout at Toys R Us -- 2008
It was a shootout as two male customers engaged in a duel to the death of sorts. The woman accompanying the men got into a fight at a Palm Desert, Calif., Toys R Us store. According to witnesses the females got into a tense altercation which then led to their men to fatally shoot one another inside the toy store on Black Friday.