A number of incidents of violence are being reported across the country as large crowds pushed and shoved their way through the stores on Black Friday.
This year, a number of retailers decided to get an early start on the big shopping day, opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. On Thursday night, police shot a man after he dragged another officer with his car while attempting to flee the parking lot of a Chicago-area Kohls.
WLS-TV reports that police received a call about shoplifting at the store, and when they chased 28-year-old suspect Gerald Chamberlain through the parking lot, the man closed the officer’s arm in the car door. 51-year-old Robert Russell then stepped on the gas, dragging the officer through the parking lot. Backup police then fired shots at the car when Russell reportedly ignored commands to stop. He was struck in the shoulder and transported to the hospital, along with the officer.
“We then were able to arrest the driver and the passenger and arrested the third subject, who was still inside the store,” Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey told reporters.
Several shoppers also got into fights on Thursday night at a Walmart in Rialto, California as the crowds who lined up for the 8 p.m. opening climbed to approximately 3,000 in number.
“There were some tensions that flared up in reference to people cutting in lines,” Sgt. Nicholas Borchard of the Rialto Police Department told CBS Los Angeles.
One shopper, Raymond Leonard Rice, 25, allegedly attacked another man as he walked across the parking lot, and was soon assaulted by a woman who observed the attack. Police then intervened, but Rice fought off the officers. One of the policemen suffered a broken wrist in the incident.
In Las Vegas, one man was reportedly shot while walking home with a large screen television. The attacker allegedly had attempted to steal the item.
Two women began fighting over a television at a Walmart in Beaumont, Texas on Friday when store employees began passing them out at the back of the line.
“I guess she had a TV in her basket,” witness Victoria Malborough told reporters of one of the women involved in the altercation. “A lady cut in front of her, and then tried to get her TV from her. So she started hitting her, and it was a big old brawl.”
In Claypool, West Virginia, two men reportedly fought over a parking spot at Walmart, as 61-year-old Ronnie Sharp slashed the arm of 35-year-old Christopher Jackson down to the bone after Jackson allegedly punched Sharp for honking his horn. Both men are now facing criminal charges.
ABC-15 reports that a woman was arrested at a Garfield, New Jersey Walmart after spitting on another shopper and her child. However, as the woman was being taken into custody, another shopper began screaming profanities. When police attempted to escort the man out of the building, he turned around and grabbed one of the officers by their clothing. He was then arrested.
Similar incidents were reported in Johnson City, Tennessee; Elkin, North Carolina and Jordan Creek, Iowa.
Video footage was also posted online by a number of shoppers who recorded fights, brawls and general mayhem on their cell phones.