The Associated Press
NEW YORK (Nov 29, 2008)
A Wal-Mart worker died yesterday after a throng of "out-of-control" shoppers broke down the doors at a Long Island store in a scramble for bargains.
It occurred shortly after the store opened at 5 a.m. on so-called Black Friday, the start of the holiday sales rush in the United States.
At least four other people, including a woman eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries.
The store closed for several hours before reopening.
Nassau police said the impatient crowd knocked the man to the ground as he opened the doors.
"This crowd was out of control," said Nassau police spokesperson Lieutenant Michael Fleming.
Witnesses said that even as the worker lay on the ground, shoppers were stepping over him.
Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like "savages."
"When they (officials) were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, 'I've been in line since yesterday morning,'" she said. "They kept shopping."
The man, 34, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., police said.