NEW YORK - A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday after an "out of control" throng of shoppers eager for post-Thanksgiving bargains broke down the doors at a suburban store and knocked him to the ground, police said.
At least four other people, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.
Nassau police said about 2,000 people were gathered outside the store doors at the mall about 20 miles east of Manhattan. The impatient crowd knocked the man to the ground as he opened the doors, leaving a metal portion of the frame crumpled like an accordion.
"This crowd was out of control," said Nassau police spokesman Lt. Michael Fleming. He described the scene as "utter chaos."
Dozens of store employees trying to fight their way out to help the man were also getting trampled by the crowd, Fleming said. Witnesses said that even as the worker lay on the ground, shoppers streamed into the store, stepping over him.
So now Black Friday has become Bloody Friday.
This poor employee has become the most direct human sacrifice at the altar of corporate consumerism. This is entirely the fault of the companies who whip people into a shopping frenzy. The mob mentality is encouraged by the stores, who want that level of animal greed. If they didn't want it, they wouldn't let people line up for days, they wouldn't offer limited numbers of items, they wouldn't do the kind of first in line stuff. But they do. So this is what they get.
If you ever wanted to have a reason to participate in Buy Nothing Day, this is it.