From shootings and stabbings to minor brawls, Black Friday turned violent as shoppers became obsessed over discount deals.
After buying a big screen TV, a Las Vegas shopper was shot at around 9:45 p.m. local time late Thursday as he tried to take his purchase home, Lt. David Gordon of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told NBC News.
“As 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,” he said.
As the thief tried to load it into a vehicle the victim approached him to try and get it back, David Gordon added.
“The suspect fired two more shots and the victim was struck in the leg,” he said.
“He was not seriously injured.”
Early Friday shoppers started arriving at a Chicago-area Kohl’s store just hours after a police officer shot the driver of a car that was dragging another officer responding to a call of alleged shoplifting which came in at around 10 p.m. local time.
Both the driver and the officer were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Three people were arrested, police said.
At least three people got into a fight in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Rialto, California, because shoppers were cutting in line, Sgt. Nicholas Borchard told NBC. Two were taken into custody after the fight at around 7 p.m. local time, he added. A police officer suffered a minor unknown injury.
A man in Claypool Hill, West Virginia, was slashed to the bone with a knife after threatening another man with a gun in an argument over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told WVVA. Both faced charges after the incident that happened at 6:30 p.m. the station reported.
Another shopper was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer after getting into an argument with a New Jersey Wal-Mart store manager about a television set. Officers arrived at the scene at 6:39 p.m. and once they had pacified the customer they also charged the shopper with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Stores have braced themselves for the Black Friday rush despite a Consumer Reports poll this week that found 56% of Americans had no plans to shop at all this weekend.
Because Thanksgiving fell on November 28, the latest possible date, there are six fewer shopping days this holiday season than last. The most common reason – named by 70% of respondents – was a desire to avoid the crowds.
A Gallup poll this year found that 53% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to do their shopping online, the highest share since Gallup started asking the question in 1998.
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