Gun violence has marked yet another great American pastime, as Black Friday shoppers scuffled for holiday deals before the Thanksgiving turkey coma had even worn off. Two shoppers were shot at a Florida Walmart yesterday, while a rash of fights, robberies and other violent incidents signaled the beginning of the 2012 holiday season.
The shooting occurred at a Tallahassee Walmart just after midnight, following what the Police Department Investigators believes was a quarrel over a parking space. The disagreement escalated into gunplay, with two Walmart shoppers leaving the store in an ambulance from gunshot wounds. The victims’ names have not yet been released, but they are currently being treated for non-life threatening injuries in a nearby hospital. Police are still searching for a dark green Toyota Camry connected to the crime.
Meanwhile, here in Washington two people were hit by a drunk driver in the Covington Walmart parking lot on Thanksgiving night. A 71-year-old male driver was arrested on the scene for vehicular assault according to the Kings County Sheriff’s Office. One victim, a woman whose identity remains undisclosed, was trapped under the driver’s Mercury SUV until she was rescued by the fire department. The male victim was also taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he is listed in good condition.
Black Friday Shoppers Hit the Stores
Tensions ran high on Thursday night as people left Thanksgiving meals early to line up outside the entrances of retailers like Target, Walmart and Best Buy.
In San Antonio, one shopper at Sears engaged others in a screaming match, and eventually punched another customer to get to the front of the line; the incident prompted another man with a concealed weapon to pull his gun, said a public information officer of the San Antonio Police Department.
“It was a little chaotic. People were exiting the store,” Porter said. “Fortunately for us, officers responded quickly and were able to ease the commotion.”
The man who caused the altercation fled the scene and has yet to be identified or located, Porter said. Meanwhile, the shopper who pulled the gun will not face any charges, because he had a concealed carry permit.
At that same store, another male shopper was treated on the scene for injuries sustained when people rushed out of the store.
Injuries and Robberies Ruin Some Retail Bargains
The mobs of midnight shoppers once again made temping targets for thieves who were lurking in parking lots and behind buildings. In South Carolina, a woman reported having a gun pulled on her just as she stepped out of her car to enter a Best Buy store in Myrtle Beach. The thief took over $200 in case, according to a police report.
In Maryland, a 14-year-old boy was robbed of his Thanksgiving purchases by five men waiting in the parking lot of a Bed Bath and Beyond store, according to the Baltimore Sun.
And in Massachusetts, Kmart employees attempted to locate a shopper over the intercom when someone notified them that a parent has left a 2-year-old alone in the car while the parent shopped, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV.
When police arrived on the scene to break into the car and remove the child, the shopper (allegedly the boyfriend of the boy’s mother), got off without any repercussions, as police were immediately called to break up another violent incident in the store; when they returned to the parking lot the man and child were gone.
Workplace Injury Attorney
Shoppers are not the only victims of holiday shopping violence; thousands of workers are injured every season by aggressive crowds, poor workplace safety, fatigue and exhaustion from overtime shifts, and other strains of the workplace. If you have an on the job injury, the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Emery Reddy can help you through the L&I claim process and secure the maximum benefits allowed under Washington law. Many workers also turn to us for experienced legal help after receiving a rejected L&I claim, or when L&I schedules them to complete an Independent Medical Examination. We also have years of experience defending the rights of those injured by a third party. Call an L&I Attorney today for a free consultation.