The Friday after Thanksgiving means many things here in the United States, among them recovering from Thursday’s huge meal, returning home after visiting family, the first day of Christmas shopping … and of course murder, mayhem, and stampedes courtesy of bargain-hunters gone wild.
Take a look at our list of the five worst instances of super-sale shopping gone horribly awry, and don’t let any of this happen to you …
5) VIDEO: Wal-Mart Crowd Fights Over XBox 360s
Thankfully no one was hurt here, so this is a relatively tame disaster. But really, no sale should have people acting like a pack of wolves scrapping over the last deer carcass. Have some dignity, folks.
4) VIDEO: Tempers Flare Outside A Florida Mall
Apparently the bargains were so good they made people forget their manners entirely.
3) Best Buy Shoppers Get Into Fist-Fight
What could possibly have happened that would cause a fist-fight before people even enter the store? Looks like these guys just needed to let out some of that Black Friday Mega-sale Rage, and the security guard seems cool with it. So, I guess … no problem?
2) Stampeding Wal-Mart Customers Trample Long Island Employee To Death
This tragedy happened just last year, when the early-morning opening of a Wal-Mart led the rushing crowd to trample 34-year-old temporary employee Jdimytai Damour to death. Four shoppers were also injured, including a woman who was 8 months pregnant. The economic crisis had just hit, so naturally people wanted to save money — but the mob was clearly too frenzied to realize that no deal is worth stampeding over someone and killing them. In the aftermath, Wal-Mart promised better crowd control for future Black Fridays.
1) Two Killed In Gun Battle Between Toys ‘R’ Us Shoppers
This Black Friday disaster, also from 2008, is the worst by far. After all, while a stampeding mob is by definition out of control, pulling out a gun and shooting someone is coldly deliberate. The gunfight erupted between two men whose female companions got into a fight at the Toys ‘R’ Us in Palm Desert, CA, and ended with both shooters dead. Authorities said the fight was not over a purchase, and it was not immediately clear why either man felt compelled to bring a loaded gun to a toy store.
The lesson in all of this? If you’re going to brave the stores today, keep your temper and be safe out there.