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
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Edmond church to host free eye clinic
An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.
July could be coolest in weather record books
With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.
Downtown Master Plan accepted by council
The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
“There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”
UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies
A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.
Lambrecht Construction to build office
The commercial site plan of a physician’s office was approved recently by the Edmond Planning Commission by a vote of 4-0.
Lambrecht Construction plans to build the office at 3917 E. Covell Road in the Fairfax Business Office, north of Covell and west of Sooner Road, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
More cameras monitoring Edmond motorists
The Edmond City Council this week approved a services agreement with Electronic Technology, Inc. For the installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems’ video wall system at a cost of $314,620. The vote was 3-0.
ITS is a fiber optic, wireless or hybrid communication system of monitoring road events and equipment in the field, data archiving and predicting traffic volume, said Kent Kacir, an engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
Shootout of a sale
An original article of the Wild West will be made available at auction Thursday. The rifle of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp will be part of the J. Levine Auction & Appraisal’s Summer Quarterly Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Earp was an Arizona deputy sheriff and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Ariz. He is legendary for playing a key role in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. He died in 1929 at age 80.
Wyatt Earp collector Barry Tapp of Edmond will be selling his 1895 Wyatt Earp Marlin rifle at the auction. The rifle has an estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000. It includes authentication documentation from Tombstone Heritage Museum, according to the auction house
UCO forensic researcher answers key question
After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
“You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”
Oklahoma sales tax takes a holiday
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 1 and ending at midnight Aug. 3, Oklahomans will be able to participate in a sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax.
Yes, retailers may not charge tax, including state and local sales taxes on items that are tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday weekend. The sales of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 are exempted from sales taxes.
Peace through Business empowering women entrepreneurs
Peace Through Business is part of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW) based in Oklahoma City. It is a program that connects small business entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda with business owners in Oklahoma. One such entrepreneur found out about the program from a friend, applied, and was accepted to take part in this year’s session.
Upon earning a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Universite de Sciences et Technique de Lille in Belgium, Lyliose Nduhungirehe began her career working for a construction company in Brussels, but she quickly switched paths to Information Technology.
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