The Black Friday shopping weekend turned tragic Sunday when a suspected shoplifter died after an altercation with Wal-Mart staff in a parking lot in Lithonia, Georgia.
According to a report from The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the man was followed out of the store by two Wal-Mart staff and a security guard who was working for the company on contract.
The report says that the staff tackled the man in the parking lot. When police arrived the man was unresponsive and was declared dead at hospital.
Wal-Mart is investigating, spokesperson Dianna Gee said Sunday in a statement released Sunday. “No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” she said.
The man’s death was not the only violent incident to occur at a Wal-Mart during Black Friday sales.
In a Seattle Wal-Mart parking lot, a 71-year-old man hit two other shoppers with his SUV on Friday. He was arrested and charged with vehicular assault and police said they suspected he was drunk. A 28-year-old woman was also arrested in a Wal-Mart in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Black Friday.
Despite the negative publicity from the Georgia man’s death, analysts picked Wal-Mart as one of the success stories from Black Friday sales, as it integrated both its in-store and online deals during what is the biggest American shopping weekend during the year.
Monday reports also pegged 2012 as a better year for Black Friday sales overall, with shoppers spending, on average, $25 more between Thursday and Sunday than they did during the previous year.