Black Friday. For some those two little words mean rushing from the dinner table to the stores in order to get the best possible deals on gifts for their loved ones as the holiday season approaches. For the millions of retail employees across the US, it’s a day of dread.
As hundreds of bargain savvy shoppers pack into the aisles, chaos is sure to erupt. Most times this chaos is handled in a calm and rational manner, but sometimes altercations can go too far and someone ends up dead or severely injured. Here are five Black Friday incidents of murder and mayhem.
It should come to no surprise to anyone that most stores make thousands of dollars in profits from Black Friday sales. In an industry where employee theft is common, it should also come to no surprise that sometimes employees attempt to steal these profits. For one former American Eagle Outfitters employee from Texas, she took a simple money grab scheme too far by brutally murdering her assistant manager.
Carter Cervantez and her boyfriend Clarence “David” Mallory went to the apartment of Ashlea Harris after she had gotten off her Black Friday shift late that night. They bound her, beat her, strangled her, and attempted to burn her body. Firefighters responding to a call about the fire found Harris’ body. Cervantez and Mallory were hoping to make off with the store’s $50,000 in profits. Instead they were arrested and charged with capital murder two days later.
Carlsbad Mall Stabbing
Javier Benjamin Covarrubias, III and Daniel DeLeon were arrested after stabbing two people in a gang-related fight during a Carlsbad Mall Black Friday event. Covarrubias was charged several hours after the attacks, while DeLeon was arrested two days later. Covarrubias is currently serving nine years for the stabbings and DeLeon has been sentenced to probation. The victims were seriously injured in the incident but were able to make a full recovery.
Toys ‘R’ Us Shooting
In 2008, two women were involved in a fist fight in the middle of a Palm Desert, California Toys ‘R’ Us store when the men they were both with pulled out their guns. One man began to chase the other man before cornering him in the electronics department. Both of them fired their weapons, killing one another in the crowded store. Many shoppers fled in terror, while others took cover under store shelves. Thankfully, no one else was injured during the incident.
Best Buy Stabbing
Three Marines were at an Augusta, Georgia Best Buy picking up a Toys for Tots donation bin on Black Friday when an irate shoplifter had been attempting to flee the store with a laptop computer. The Marines were able to clothesline the shoplifter, when suddenly the man pulled out a knife. He stabbed Cpl. Phillip Duggan in the back. The cut was not deep enough to subdue Duggan and he and the other Marines held down the shoplifter as they waited for police to arrive.
Pepper Spray Attack
A Los Angeles woman was spotted violently attacking at least 20 people, including young children, with pepper spray in an area Walmart. The woman had purposely brought the pepper spray into the store in order to prevent other shoppers from getting their hands on the deeply discounted toys and electronics during the store’s Black Friday sales. It is unclear if any arrests were made over the 2011 incident. The 20 people injured during the attack were treated and released at the scene.