Black Friday has grown notorious for midnight disputes over short-supply television sales, but the chaos took on a very serious tone in multiple locations throughout the United States. At least one of the incidents (in Reno, Nevada) was characterized with shopping-related rage as a motivating factor.
In New Jersey, the Hamilton Mall became the scene of gunfire at around 1:00am EST in the Macy’s parking lot. CBS News indicates that this was one of multiple department stores holding early sales, although it’s not clear whether the violence was actually related to Black Friday. The area swiftly turned into a crime scene with one Atlantic City man dying from multiple gunshot wounds when his SUV was left full of bullet holes. The second victim remains hospitalized in stable condition.
The New York Daily News reports other instances of gun violence taking place at a Reno, Nevada Walmart and a Memphis, Tennessee shopping mall, which saw two more shooting deaths and multiple injuries. Details remain scarce on the incidents, which all took place outside the shopping venues while sales were ongoing. However, NPR reveals that the Reno shooting “was apparently a dispute over a parking spot.”
Shoppers in New Jersey described their horrified reactions to the violence. One woman told CBS, “We’ve been doing this, me and my girls for probably about ten years now, just for the fun of going out — a girls night and trying to get some special sales and it’s getting scary now.” Another witness lamented how consumers are simply “excited about the upcoming times with family,” but some families will be forced to remember the season as a tragic one.