Early-bird Black Friday turns ugly with ‘shopping rage’ incident
A woman uses pepper spray on fellow shoppers at the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch. As many as 20 are injured in the ensuing chaos. In a bid to grab bargain hunters’ dollars before the traditional Black Friday, stores swung their doors open hours earlier.
Southern California shoppers were offered a new twist Thursday to their annual Thanksgiving routine: the chance to do some post-dinner bargain hunting.
Eager to get a jump on pushing low-priced inventory out the door, many big chains moved the opening bell for Black Friday sales to midnight — or even earlier.
Toys R Us opened at 9 p.m., while Wal-Mart trotted out new bargains at 10. Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target and other chains were set to open at midnight.
But not all went smoothly. Ten minutes after the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch opened, a female customer used pepper spray on other shoppers at the Black Friday sale, injuring at least seven people and forcing employees to evacuate a portion of the store, police said.
“This was customer-versus-customer ‘shopping rage,’” said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga. He said one shopper was taken to a hospital after complaining of difficulty breathing.