A swarm of Black Friday shoppers clamoring to get their greedy mitts on some outrageously low-priced merchandise smashed through the front doors and trampled a Wal-Mart employee to death on Long Island, NY last week.

Occasionally bringing out the worst in people, the holidays and rampant consumerism can be a deadly mixture. A large crowd gathered outside the Green Acres Mall, located just minutes from NYC, Thursday evening in anticipation of Wal-Mart’s 5 a.m. Black Friday opening. As the throng of eager holiday shoppers grew into the thousands, police were called in shortly after 3:30 a.m. to restore order. They failed.

Five minutes before the store was to open, the horde of unruly customers shattered the door, trampled through the half-dozen Wal-Mart employees who had desperately been trying to reinforce the doomed entryway, and proceeded to shop, according to police and eyewitnesses. Though several people were injured in the violent surge, 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, a temporary worker hired by Wal-Mart for the holidays, was trampled to death. This didn’t stop the mob from shopping.

“When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since yesterday morning,'” said one shopper who was shocked by the savage display.

Sadly, similar mob scenes have become a common occurrence on Black Friday – the notorious insane event that annually kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season – though they don’t typically result in death. Some shoppers apparently feel flagrant disregard for human life is acceptable in the face of low, low prices. I love a good bargain like the next person, but this just makes me sick to my stomach. What the hell is wrong with people?

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