Police said that one teenager was left with life-threatening injuries due to a shooting incident outside a mall in Missouri just before Black Friday.
Police said that during the night prior to the infamous shopping holiday, A 19-year-old person was reported injured at 11:30 pm. According to the mall’s website, the establishment was open until midnight in anticipation of Black Friday.
Police stated that the shot was fired by a man who was sitting in his car just outside the mall. The man accidentally discharged his weapon while he was trying to re-holster it. Authorities have not yet determined whether the said shooting was deliberate or accidental.
Police said that another man was also in the car. The investigation is currently ongoing, and there are still no arrests made. Local reporters said that despite the incident, the Missouri mall opened on schedule for Black Friday, at 6 am.
Incidents of violence also broke out in other areas of the United States also, as various shoppers lined up to avail post-Thanksgiving deals. In Alabama, for example, a mall wall shut down by the police on Thursday night after several fights were reported.
Shortly after 11 pm, police officers responded to a mall that is located in Birmingham, Alabama. They found two girls fighting while the other shoppers watched. Both girls were treated by paramedics due to minor injuries. Police said that the fight was not related to the Black Friday sales.
In a statement, the department said: “Hoover Police will have extra officers on site at our retail areas throughout the holiday season to ensure the safety and security of the patrons and stores in our city.”
Black Friday was once known exclusively for the tide of sales that it brings. However, in recent years, it has become synonymous with consumer aggression and violence.
In 2013, two men were arrested by police officers in Virginia after supposedly engaging in a knife fight due to a parking space at Walmart. In 2014, California police responded to reports of two women who started a “pushing and shoving match” because of a Barbie doll during Thanksgiving night.
Deploying additional security officers on Black Friday has since become a common practice at malls across the United States. However, in 2017, some stores are stepping up their security in order to protect people not from shoppers, but from possible terrorists or shooters. In Wrentham, Massachusetts, an outlet mall has placed large plastic barriers to stop truck attacks like those that were recently seen in Paris and New York.
Bill McGrath, the Deputy Police Chief, informed reporters: “[The outlets] attracts a broad population. And for that reason, we think it’s somewhat more of an attractive target.”