Wal-Mart Worker Dies After Shoppers Knock Him Down

A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday when "out-of-control" shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale.

A Tennesee man wants to know why an MP3 video player he bought for his 10-year-old daughter for Christmas at a Wal-Mart came preloaded with pornography and explicit songs. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) - A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday when "out-of-control" shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale. Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

At least four other people, including a woman who was 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.

Shoppers stepped over the man on the ground and streamed into the store. When told to leave, they complained that they had been in line since Thursday morning.

Nassau County 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, identified by police as Jdimytai Damour of Queens, 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," and said the store didn't have enough security.

Dozens of store employees trying to fight their way out to help Damour were also getting trampled by the crowd, Fleming said.

Items on sale at the store included a Samsung 50-inch Plasma HDTV for $798, a Bissel Compact Upright Vacuum for $28, a Samsung 10.2 megapixel digital camera for $69 and DVDs such as "The Incredible Hulk" for $9.

Damour, 34, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 6 a.m., police said. The exact cause of death has not been determined.

A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, where she
and the baby were reported to be OK, said police Sgt. Anthony Repalone.

Police said criminal charges were possible in the case, but Fleming said it would be difficult to identify individual shoppers. Authorities were reviewing surveillance video.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., based in Bentonville, Ark., called the incident a "tragic situation" and said the employee came from a temporary agency and was doing maintenance work at the store. It said it tried to prepare for the crowd by adding staffers and outside security workers, putting up barricades and consulting police.

"Despite all of our precautions, this unfortunate event occurred," senior Vice President Hank Mullany said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those impacted."

Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were
acting like "savages."

"When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling 'I've been on line since yesterday morning,"' she said. "They kept shopping."

A woman reported being trampled by overeager customers at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in Farmingdale, about 15 miles east of Valley Stream, Suffolk County police said. She suffered minor injuries, but finished shopping before filling the report, police said.

Shoppers around the country line up early outside stores on the day after Thanksgiving in the annual bargain-hunting ritual known as Black Friday. It got that name because it has historically been the day when stores broke into profitability for the full year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Anonymous Location: ky on Dec 2, 2008 at 07:01 AM
    And this is proof that people are STUPID and they will kill you for a DOLLAR! Money is the root of all evil! I pray every-one involved PAYS! I pary for this mans family!
  • by Sondra Location: Lexington on Dec 2, 2008 at 06:43 AM
    black friday, people shop online from now on, trust me the sells start eariler online than in the store.
  • by Jake Location: Richmond, KY on Dec 2, 2008 at 06:39 AM
    Why is it that no one in the media is asking if there is an ongoing criminal investigation? A man lost his life and NO ONE in the media (local and national) seem to care if the greedy people who killed him will be brought to justice!
  • by ricky Location: berea on Dec 2, 2008 at 12:58 AM
    the greed of this nation is historical.
  • by Jon Location: Ky on Dec 1, 2008 at 08:57 PM
    And people talks about Kentucky and how stupid we are. Looks like New york has the most.
  • by diane Location: hall on Dec 1, 2008 at 08:20 PM
    Well i think the stores should stop having the big after thanksgiving sale because its only going to get worse they have already killed one person .
  • by Glenn Location: Ky on Dec 1, 2008 at 07:48 PM
    I like the sales but I would never want anyone to get hurt. I think all the shopping is out of hand anyways. I think stores should sale so many tickets to the sale and then when the shoppers pay the price for the ticket they should be allowed to take the money they spent on the ticket off the price of all the items they bought. Come on people it is not worth someone getting hurt over...
  • by Sharon Location: Ky. on Dec 1, 2008 at 07:35 PM
    I THINK THAT BLACK FRIDAYS SHOULD BE STOPPED ALL TOGETHER. WAL-MART SHOULD HAVE TO PAY. IT IS A SHAME THIS POOR MAN HAD TO LOOSE HIS LIFE OVER SOMETHING SO STUPID. THE WORLD HAS GONE TO HELL IN A HANDBAG. TO: SUSAN COFFEY AND SCOTT- YOU BOTH SHOULD HAVE NOT EVEN HAVE MADE A COMMENT IT JUST SHOWS THE WORLD HOW INGORANT YOU ARE. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR FAMILY MEMBER? WOULD IT STILL HAVE BEEN A DEAL? I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU OPEN THE DOORS NEXT YEAR AT ONE OF THESE BLACK FRIDAYS. LET'S SEE IF YOU COULD GET OUT OF THE WAY IN TIME. HOPE YOU BOTH WISE UP BEFORE IT IS YOUR TIME TO MEET YOUR MAKER !!!
  • by BOBBI Location: EASTERN KY on Dec 1, 2008 at 06:15 PM
    I FEEL SO SORRY FOR HIS FAMILY. THEY ARE SUFFERING FOR NOTHING MORE THAN GREED FOR A BARGAIN. IS THAT WHAT THIS WORLD HAS COME TO THAT A BARGAIN IS WORTH MORE THAN HUMAN LIFE? I FEEL THAT BLACK FRIDAY SHOULD BE BANNED IN EVERY STORE. I HAVE NEVER SHOPPED ON THIS DAY NOR DO I INTEND TO . I DON'T THINK THAT A FEW BUCKS IS WORTH FIGHTING OR DYING FOR. I PRAY FOR GOD TO COMFORT THIS FAMILY AND THAT SOMEHOW THE NATION WAKES UP!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Maretta Location: KY on Dec 1, 2008 at 05:55 PM
    It is really sad that some individuals are so into materialism that they have little to no empathy for other humans. It is heartbreaking that some shoppers continued to push and shove even when rescue personnel were trying to help the injured man. The value we place on things is unbelievable. Hopefully, this tragedy will cause Wal-Mart and other stores to handle Black Friday differently next year. I pray that God would be the Damour family and comfort them in their time of loss. May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas - Jesus' birth and the celebration of His life.

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