As Black Friday bleeds into Thanksgiving Day, the frenzy surrounding one of the busiest shopping days of the year has grown and, in some instances, led to violence or even deaths. Here is a look at some recent incidents that have marred one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Tragedy in New York
In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was killed when hundreds of shoppers stampeded through the doors as the store, located about 20 miles east of Manhattan, opened at 5 a.m. According to the New York Times, other workers were trampled when they tried to help the man, and at least four other people — including a woman who was eight months pregnant — were injured. Police estimates put the crowd gathered outside the store in the pre-dawn hours at about 2,000.
Fight over toys turns deadly
An argument between two women at a Toys R Us store in Palm Desert, Calif., ended with two others dead on Black Friday in 2008. The argument, for which no reason was given, intensified into a fistfight between two men who were accompanying the women, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. They then pulled out handguns and began shooting at each other as panicked shoppers fled the store. Both men ended up shot to death.
In 2011, the scene at a Los Angeles Wal-Mart turned chaotic when a 33-year-old woman allegedly released pepper spray into a crowd of shoppers as a selection of electronics was unveiled. The Los Angeles Times reported that a police lieutenant described the incident as “customer-versus-customer shopping rage,” recounting a scene where people were screaming as they were shoved into display boxes. The woman eluded police, and store surveillance video failed to provide a clear description of her amid the mayhem.
A 21-year-old woman in Madison, Wis., was arrested in 2010 after cutting in line in front of several hundred shoppers at a Toys R Us store. She was charged with disorderly conduct after she allegedly threatened other shoppers who confronted her, saying she would pull out a gun and shoot them. “Everybody was cutting in line,” Lanessa Lattimore told CNN. “I just wanted to get my daughter the toy she wanted for Christmas.”
Gift certificates gone wrong
Instead of holding a drawing to give away gift certificates or handing them out on Black Friday in 2006, officials at a shopping center in Torrance, Calif., thought it would be fun to drop them from the ceiling. Big mistake. A free-for-all erupted as an estimated 2,000 shoppers scrambled to grab one of the 500 gift certificates. Among the 10 people injured in the melee was an elderly woman who was transported to a nearby hospital. The mall’s marketing director, Sam Carpenter, told the Associated Press that management was “completely overwhelmed” by the turnout for the promotion.
Stampede at Target
The scene at a Target store in Buffalo turned chaotic in 2010 when anxious shoppers rushed through the entrance as the doors opened at 4 a.m. on Black Friday.
Fracas over cell phones
A female customer was punched in the face when shoppers scrambled to snatch up "Straight Talk" phones as they were released at a Benton, Mich., Wal-Mart store in 2011.
Some crazed Wal-Mart shoppers rushed a towel rack on Black Friday in 2011.
Charging into Urban Outfitters
A giant crowd swarms through the entrance of an Urban Outfitters store in Thousand Oaks, Calif., in 2011.
--Information compiled from media reports
- Online Only
To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when
Sleep. Oh, to sleep. A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults. And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.
Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs
The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.
VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes
Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.
VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine
A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.
Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'
In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.
E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say
The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.
VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong
The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.
VIDEO: Nebraska prom mishap goes viral
A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.
Stepping forward: The real Colbert
Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.
Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger
The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.
- More Online Only Headlines
- To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when