A number of violent crimes have been reported across the United States as American shoppers were trying to buy cut-price products during the annual Black Friday shopping sales.
According to police and media report the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush sparked incidents of violence across the United States as a police officer was injured breaking up a fight, a shopper was shot in the leg over a TV and a Walmart was evacuated.
“Black Friday,” the biggest U.S. shopping day of the year, started a few hours earlier this season as many department stores for the first time opted to open or start discounts on Thanksgiving night. While most retailers reported peaceful – if hectic – opening hours, some saw the shopping craze erupt into violence.
Among the most violent episodes happened yesterday at a Kohl’s in Romeovile, Ill., when an alleged shoplifter dragged a police officer from his car before being shot in the arm by other law enforcement officers present at the scene, The Chicago Tribune reports.
âAn officer chased a fleeing suspect to his car when “the car started to move as the officer was partially inside the car,” Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey told NBC stationÂ WBCD. “The officer was dragged quite some distance.” A backup officer then shot the driver of the car.
A shooting was also reported Thursday night in Las Vegas. Two assailants reportedly attempted to steal a TV from a man who had recently purchased it. After arguing, the man was shot in the leg before the attacker sped off in his car, leaving the TV behind.
Lt. David Gordon of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said the suspect fired âwarningâ shots to get the man to release the television.
âAs the victim was walking through his complex he was approached by a suspect who fired warning shots which caused the victim to release the television,â Gordon said.
A man in Virginia was stabbed at Walmart during an argument over a parking spot before many Americans had even finished eating Thanksgiving dinner. Two men were arrested after the incident. Police in Rialto, Calif., endured injuries when breaking up a brawl outside Walmart.
At a Walmart in Southern California, a police officer was injured trying to break up a melee after a manager decided to open his doors early.
Several video footages were released, showing desperate shoppers elbow each other to get their hands on cut-price stuff at Walmarts.
âWalmart is like a war zone,â one Twitter user wrote. âFight to the death to get the s*** you want.â
âI have never felt more shame for humanity than I do right now watching people in Walmart fight over a tv, Alabama bookbag & a $14 blender,â another user said.
The Black Friday rush came despite aÂ Consumer Reports poll earlier this weekÂ that said more than half of all Americans â 56 percent â had no desire to go shopping this weekend. Many of them said they plan to do their shopping online.
However Wal-Mart President and CEO Bill Simon toldÂ TODAYÂ that the company had a âterrific nightâ Thursday and expected a busy Black Friday too.