10 Black Friday Horror Stories


Employee Trampled to Death

Shoppers sprint through the doors of a Miami Wal-Mart as it opens at 5 a.m. on Black Friday in 2005. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Shoppers sprint through the doors of a Miami Wal-Mart as it opens at 5 a.m. on Black Friday in 2005. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

Wal-Mart features quite a bit in our Black Friday horror stories but none worse than this one. In 2008, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death after a mob of Black Friday shoppers broke through the doors and rushed the store. Four shoppers, including a pregnant woman, were also injured.

Two thousand people waited outside for the 5 a.m. opening, pushing against the door. Nervous employees formed a human chain to try to slow them down. To no avail. The mob broke the door down and kept running to get the bargains, knocking down employees in the process.

The man's death did little to stop the madness. Shoppers were outraged when told to leave because someone had died. When the Long Island, N.Y., store reopened at 1 p.m., it was full within minutes.

"I look at these people's faces and I keep thinking one of them could have stepped on him," said a Wal-Mart employee, referring to his dead coworker. "How could you take a man's life to save $20 on a TV?" [sources: Gould, Trapasso and Schapiro].

Author's Note: 10 Black Friday Horror Stories

I'm a reformed Black Friday shopper. When I was young and single, and not quite so wise, I would rise at 3 a.m. to join my brothers' wives in an annual predawn bargain ritual. We nearly froze, managed to laugh (at ourselves and others), drank coffee, and deployed in separate and strategic directions in each store. In the end, I'm not really sure I saved much money, but I did have fun. Until I realized how much amusement I could have with a PayPal account, a good Internet connection and a handful of promo codes -- without ever changing out of my pajamas.

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  • Caine, Bianca; Emerson, LaTina. "Shoplifting Suspect Stabs Marine, Police Say." The Augusta Chronicle. Nov. 26, 2010. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://chronicle.augusta.com//latest-news/2010-11-26/stabbing-reported-near-best-buy
  • Caron, Matt. "Two-year-old Found in Springfield Parking Lot." WWLP. Nov. 23, 2012. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://www.wwlp.com/news/local/hampden/dad-leaves-child-in-car-to-buy-tv
  • CNN. "Violence Mars Black Friday." Nov. 25, 2011. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/25/business/money-black-friday-incidents/
  • Fowler, Bob. "Black Friday Fury: Shopper Jailed for Road Incident." Knox News. Nov. 26, 2012. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/nov/26/black-friday-fury-shopper-jailed-for-road/?comments_id=2450735
  • Gould, Joe, Trapasso, Clare and Schapiro Rich. "Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede." New York Daily News. Nov, 28, 2008. (Oct. 31, 2013). http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/worker-dies-long-island-wal-mart-trampled-black-friday-stampede-article-1.334059#ixzz2jo37eEA2
  • Grad, Shelby. "Cerritos Mall Food Court Placed on Lockdown After Fight, Reports of Gunshots." LA Times. Nov. 26, 2010. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/11/cerritos-mall-food-court-placed-on-lockdown-after-fight-reports-of-gunshots.html
  • Holmes, Baxter. "Black Friday Wal-Mart in Upland Temporarily Closes After 'Fighting Inside.'" LA Times. Nov. 27, 2009. (Oct. 30, 2013) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2009/11/black-friday-Wal-Mart-in-upland-temporarily-closes-after-fighting-inside.html
  • Kattalia, Kathryn. "Man Dies After Collapsing in Shopping Center During Black Friday." New York Daily News. Nov. 27, 2011. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-dies-collapsing-shopping-center-black-friday-article-1.983040
  • Ley, Ana. "Shopper who pulled gun at San Antonio mall within rights, cops say." San Antonio Express-News. Nov. 22, 2012. (Nov. 5, 2013) http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Shopper-who-pulled-gun-at-San-Antonio-mall-within-4060598.php
  • Mehta, Seema, Maltais, Michelle and Yoshino, Kimi. "Panic at Gunfire in Toy Store." LA Times. Nov. 29, 2008. (Oct. 30, 2013) http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/29/local/me-toystoreshooting29
  • Re, Gregg. "Black Friday Mayhem Apocalypse Death Zone Roundup: 2 Shot, 1 Gun Brandished, Target Targeted." The Daily Caller. Nov. 24, 2012. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/24/black-friday-mayhem-apocalypse-death-zone-roundup-2-shot-1-gun-brandished-target-targeted/
  • Tunison, John. "Black Friday Shoplifters in Holland Township Turns Violent When Handgun is Drawn." Mlive. Nov. 23, 2012. (Oct. 31, 2013) http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/11/black_friday_shoplifters_in_ho.html


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