If shopping is our religion, then this is our Hajj:
NY Times: Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death
The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.
Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: â€œBlitz Line Starts Here.â€
By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.
Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.
These two must have watched too many John Woo movies:
Most shoppers headed to the Toys R Us in Palm Desert on Friday morning clutching their “door buster” ads and their shopping lists. At least two men walked into the busy store armed with their guns.
Instead of the usual frantic chaos on Black Friday, the year’s busiest shopping day, mayhem erupted in the electronics department about 11:30 a.m., leaving two men dead in a gunfight and crowds of shoppers ducking for cover.
Joan Barrick, 40, of Desert Hot Springs said she was buying a Barbie Jeep for her daughter when two women started brawling. As the women swung at each other, the men they were with also started arguing.
The younger of the two lifted up his shirt and flashed his handgun, pulling the grip from his baggy pants pocket. The other man yanked out his own handgun and started chasing him down the aisle and firing, witnesses said.
Barrick hid behind a stack of DVDs and recited the Lord’s Prayer. “If I’m going to die, I need to make peace,” she said. “A lot of people were crying. I was crying. We were all very, very scared.”
As the two men ran shooting through the aisles, shoppers dumped their purchases. LaToya Jenkins, 20, had already bought a remote-control bike. She dropped it and ran. Others left behind shopping carts full of the bargain-priced toys they had come in search of.
Several witnesses saw the gunmen clearly. Some cried out warnings: “He has a gun!” and “Â¡Pistola! Â¡Pistola!” Barrick was so close she could see the smoking gun.
Riverside County sheriff’s officials declined to release the names of the dead men, whose bodies were found near the front of the store. Police retrieved handguns on the floor near both of them.
“These guys ran into each other, they squared off against each other, they killed each other,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Wilham. “It’s a miracle that these were the only two people killed, given it was a crowded toy store.”
It’s all so disgusting and funny at the same time.