News and Commentary

Black Friday Mayhem: Brawls, Shots Fired, Guards Beating Back Angry Hordes. Merry Christmas!

That quaking beneath your feet is not a stampede; it’s the march of hungry consumers barging through the local Best Buy in pursuit of that 50% off SmartTV for Black Friday.

Nothing quite says “Merry Christmas!” like beating the living daylights out of a total stranger for snagging the last “Sally Wets Her Pants” doll on the shelf. Gone are the days of gathering around the fireplace for some Nat King Cole and roasted chestnuts; in 2018, Black Friday is the ritual by which we welcome the “most wonderful season of all,” and this year started off with a bang … literally.

According to local reports, an altercation between two adults outside of a Footaction at the Riverchase Galleria in Alabama resulted in one death and two injuries after a 21-year-old male suspect pulled his gun and fired on an 18-year-old male shopper. More from the report:

The suspect shot an 18-year-old male once. A 12-year-old female was struck, though it is unclear when it occurred.

The suspect, a 21-year-old from Hueytown, fled following the shooting and police say two nearby officers approached the suspect and shot and killed him.

According to police the 18-year-old victim is at UAB with serious injuries and the 12-year-old female is being treated at Children’s. Police say their latest update of the female victim is that she is “alert” and “talking.”

Police say they recovered a gun left in Santa’s Village.

Witnesses say the shootings occurred between JCPenney and Footaction, where they heard separate rounds of gunfire. The exact nature of the dispute remains unclear at this time. In a statement, the Riverchase Galleria, which was opened on Thanksgiving, said the mall would remain closed until further notice.

“We are devastated by the incident that happened tonight in our shopping center,” said the Riverchase Galleria. “We are working closely with the Hoover Police Department and are grateful for their swift action to contain the situation. While there is no current danger to our community, the shopping center will remain closed until further notice.”

The mall re-opened at 6 a.m.

Another Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama, closed early last year when police were called in to break a brawl up between two women. Witnesses at the time reported of seeing a shoe thrown in the scuffle which planted into a baby’s face.

On social media, cell phone video footage at varying Walmarts showed fights and brawls breaking out between customers as well as employees forged with the impossible task of quelling the rabid masses. At one Walmart in an unspecified city, video showed customers wrestling over a stack of television sets. Another video at another Walmart showed two men fighting as their significant others cursed them out. This video shows security guards pushing customers back as they stampede through the store.

According to Business Insider, Black Friday sales are expected to be the strongest in years.

“Retail stocks were mixed following projections Black Friday 2018 will be the strongest in years,” the outlet reports. “Total spending over the Black Friday weekend was expected to climb 5.7% versus a year ago to $59.6 billion, according to estimates by GlobalData Retail. That would make for the strongest growth rate since 2011.”

Business Insider continued: “Big box retailers like Walmart (+0.83%), Best Buy (+0.71%), and Target(-2%) traded mixed. The SPDR S&P retail exchange-traded fund gained 0.7%. Elsewhere, the department stores Macy’s (-1.44%) and Nordstrom (-0.88%) were weaker.”