By Heather Clark on Christian News
The day after Americans observed a holiday meant to give thanks to God for their blessings, news reports from across the country outlined various incidents of violence at retail stores, including shootings in Nevada and New Jersey that left two dead.
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According to reports, at least six people were shot on Thursday night and Friday, with the first incident occurring at a Reno, Nevada Walmart, where one man shot another dead in a dispute over a parking spot. A 33-year-old man, whose identity has not yet been released, was found deceased on the scene.
Police are now seeking help locating the suspect, who was believed to have been driving a dark Toyota Camry or Corolla. The FBI is also investigating the matter.
Hours later, at 1 a.m., Demond Cottman, 21, lost his life after being shot outside of Macy’s at Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, New Jersey. His brother suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in the incident and is hospitalized in stable condition.
The New York Daily News reports that Macy’s was open at the time, but the rest of the mall didn’t open until 6 a.m.
“It’s sad,” one shopper who was present told CBS Philadelphia. “We’ve been doing this, me and my girls for probably about ten years now, just for the fun of going out—a girls night and trying to get some special sales and it’s getting scary now.”
In Memphis, Tennessee, one man was wounded at Wolfchase Galleria Mall after Derrick Blackburn, 19, opened fire outside of the food court and then drove off. Blackburn is now in custody.
In Chattanooga, an argument inside Hamilton Place Mall on Friday lead to a shooting outside, with one victim being shot in the arm and another in the leg.
“CPD has one party in custody another party detained. No threat to public,” the Chattanooga Police Department Tweeted later in the day.
Some of the shootings are stated by police to be unrelated to shopping, but still took place at shopping centers while consumers were in stores.
In Mishawaka, Indiana, shoppers at University Park Mall were befuddled when several men began throwing chairs at each other.
“All of a sudden, you just hear metal clanging,” witness Heather Rowlison told local television station WNDU. “Once the chairs started flying, people were scared. We were yelling ‘Stop them! Stop them!’”
“I don’t know if their intent was to cause just a ruckus or cause terror or to steal bags, but it definitely frightened a lot of people,” she said.
In Modesto, two groups of men engaged in a brawl at Vintage Faire Mall, while those videotaping called out, “World Star,” referring to a hip-hop site that posts videos of fights.
Other online videos from various cities showed some shoppers being grabby over items, but not as contentious as in previous years.