2016 Black Friday Death Toll: 9 Lives Since 2006
Black Friday is an American tradition that dates back as early as 1932. It is the day after Thanksgiving and marks the first day of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. The phrase “Black Friday” was first coined in Philadelphia in 1961 to describe the disruptive and chaotic pedestrian and vehical traffic that would occur the day after Thanksgiving. For years, retailers would commonly open up at 6:00 a.m. up to about 2011, when the several retailers decided to open at midnight instead. This brought on a new level of chaos.
Besides mind-blowing deals on products, Black Friday is also known for its unnecessary violence. Since 2006, the total of Black Friday deaths is sadly at 9 lives and there are 102 Black Friday related injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the most shocking incidents.
In 2008, a crowd of 2,000 eager shoppers awaited outside their local Walmart in Valley stream, NY for the 5:00 p.m. opening. As the doors opened to the anxious crowd, the door broke down and a 34-year old employee was trampled to death. The shoppers were pouring in the door so quickly, that they did not even appear to be concerned with this severely injured person so the trampling continued. While other employees tried to intervene and aid their injured coworker, shoppers were still pouring in and complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. This behavior continued, and police and first aid responders were still shoved and pushed around as they tried to aid and give CPR to the injured person.
In 2011, a woman awaiting amongst a crowd of fellow shoppers at another retailer in Porter Ranch, CA began pepper spraying those around her. Witnesses reported that the store had brought out a crate of discounted XBOX 360’s where a line of shoppers had formed a line to purchase. The woman began spraying people ‘in order to get an advantage over the XBOX’s.’ There were nearly 20 people who required medical assistance, including children.
In 2013, a shopper had just purchased a big-screen tv home from a Target store. At 9:45 p.m. on his journey back to this apartment complex, he was approached by a man with a gun. The mugger apparently shot a warning shot in the air causing him to drop the TV. The mugger grabbed the television and ran it to a nearby car where a driver was waiting. The victim attempted to get his tv back by wrestling with the mugger where he was then shot in the leg.
Unfortunately, these are only a handful of incidences that have happened over the years and the holidays will certainly never be the same for these families. And, all of this for shopping’s sake. Black Friday really has become a dark day.
Here are some of the craziest Black Friday moments captured over the years: