- (Reuters/Joshua Lott)
As retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving night to kickoff the Black Friday sales, droves of shoppers rushed the stores to grab the best deals, and one shopper in California even decided to use pepper spray in what police are calling a fit of "shopping rage."
Ten minutes after a Porter Ranch Walmart opened; a female shopper unleashed a pepper spray attack on her fellow shoppers. The incident left seven customers injured and employees were forced to evacuate part of the store.
One victim was taken to the hospital because of difficulty breathing, according to police.
"This was customer-versus-customer 'shopping rage,'" said Los Angeles Police Lt. Abel Parga to the LA Times.
Fire officials were treating 20 people who were left with minor injuries following the attack. Police are still pursuing the female suspect.
Despite facing backlash from the public, retailers went ahead with their planned Thanksgiving night openings. Over 200,000 people signed a petition urging Target to push back their midnight opening to 5 a.m.
Toys R Us opened at 9 p.m while Walmart opened at 10 p.m. Macy's, Kohl's and Target all kicked off their sales off at midnight.
Black Friday shopping is ideal for consumers hunting the best bargains. Some shoppers have been camping for days waiting for the stores to open.
Gisela Avila of Harbor City said she camped out with her boyfriend to try to score a big discount on a Sharp TV.
"I have to wait for Black Friday because I can't afford one any other day," said Avila.
Some consumers even have strategies for the biggest shopping day of the year.
"We have it all mapped out. You go in for what you need and you get out. You don't browse," said another shopper.
"The stores are all opening so early now that it's throwing off my strategy," she added.
Holiday retail sales are expected to rise 3 percent and 212 million people are projected to go shopping on Black Friday, spending around $39 billion, according to Shopper Trak.