Coming in at the bottom of the Top 10 list is Illinois. While it isn’t the worst, the state still has a lot to work on. Illinois already sits at a violent crime rate of 17, which isn't that great, but if you throw sales into the deal…well, let’s just say you’re looking for a rough time. The people of Illinois get injured almost every year during Black Friday.
One of the worst was in 2012 in Moline, Illinois. On the night of Thanksgiving – yes, when everyone should be at home with their families – crowds piled into Walmart to get the best sales. This time, it was phones. There were several little fights that broke out that night, but when a guy started losing it, things got really bad. One guy passed out, and police had to intervene to avoid any further injury.
Three years prior, Arizona wasn't on this list. What happened? Well, the violent crime ranking jumped up to #9, and people in the state love a good sale. They rank 7th in interest in Black Friday, which spells bad news. It seems like reports pile in each year, recording the latest incident that occurred on Thanksgiving or shortly after—just for a few dollars off.
Reuters recently ran an article about violence on Black Friday. In Arizona alone, the article highlighted a suspicious package that was found in Walmart located in Cave Creek, Arizona. The whole store had to evacuate. In addition to that, a grandfather was injured when a police officer slammed him to the ground following him putting a game in his waistband.
When doesn’t Missouri make the news about Black Friday brawls? As far as Missouri’s violent crime rate, it currently sits at 7th. That’s…not great. After everything that’s happened in the state, you’d think people would rather stay at home instead of fighting the angry crowds for a brand-new TV. While there are tons of stories to choose from, we’re going to highlight one in 2017.
In 2017, a shootout began at Columbia Mall in Columbia, Missouri. The sad thing is that an interview conducted by KSHB (a local news station) started off with one shopper saying, "We were literally just talking about how we thought it was pretty lucky nothing happened." The incident left one 19-year-old with life-threatening injuries.
We’re not really sure how California isn’t higher on the list, honestly. The violent crime stats rank it at #15, but we’re guessing the sheer number of people in this state placed it in the top 10 pretty easily. In 2020, a shootout occurred in Northern California, which resulted in the death of two teens. They were in front of the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento when employees heard about a dozen shots.
Another story from 2011 explains how a woman started spraying people with pepper spray so she could get her hands on an Xbox. Finally, in 2012, a literal fight club broke out. Three men just started wailing on each other inside the Galleria Mall in Roseville. Police arrested four people, all under the age of 21.
Nevada ranks very high on the violent crime ranking. It sits at fifth place and being in the top five isn’t anything to be proud of. There are a lot of stories, so let's just get into it. In 2016, a fight turned deadly when shoppers fought over a parking spot. Yeah, you read that right – a parking spot.
A few years prior, in 2013, Las Vegas police were called to a Target after a shopper was found carrying out a big screen TV. A thief came up and shot him in the leg for the TV. Thankfully, the injuries weren't deadly, but no arrests were made, either. Maybe shop online this year?
The South is home to some of the worst Black Friday fights, so of course, there’s going to be a southern state on the list. Alabama sits at #8 for violent crime rates and 26th for interest in Black Friday – not super high, but apparently high enough. As early as 2018, a shootout began at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover.
The fight started between an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old gunman. Once bullets started flying, a 12-year-old bystander was caught in the fray. She lived, but unfortunately, the 21-year-old died. A year prior to that, a brawl broke out in the same shopping center. One local news article stated that it was two girls fighting, while residents say bullets were flying. Police couldn't confirm the shots, but there were definitely some injuries that night.
4. North Carolina
Onto North Carolina, which was honestly a bit of a surprise. The state isn't particularly known for violence—it currently ranks 24th for violent crime—but here we are. NC currently ranks 4th for the most dangerous state to shop in during Black Friday. Something about this time of year brings out the worst.
One of the worst events happened in 2011. An off-duty cop just lost it and began pepper-spraying shoppers. A witness is reported as saying, "he was raining it over the whole crowd." It left 20 people injured, and some had to go to the ER for medical assistance due to injury.
3. West Virginia
This is when things start to get really sad. West Virginia doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, it's often considered one of the worst states to live in and one of the most dangerous places in the United States. Apparently, West Virginians also get very serious about their Black Friday shopping.
All this came to light in 2011. While at Target, customers were hunting for deals while 61-year-old, Walter Vance, collapsed due to a heart attack. Witnesses ignored the shopper and even stepped over his body while they continue to shop. Vance was rushed to a hospital, but it was too late and he was pronounced dead.
Tennessee, what’s going on? The state ranks 3rd for violent crime and 2nd for the most dangerous place for Black Friday shopping. The weird part is that it isn’t even over actual items. During one Black Friday at Oak Court Mall in 2018, a shopper opened fire when another man looked at his woman. The woman’s beau knocked the guy out and then shot him. Another shopper then pulled out his gun and began shooting. Thankfully, no one died.
Two years before that in 2016, there was yet another shooting. This time it happened in Memphis, outside of Wolfchase Galleria Mall. The event started in the parking lot outside the food court area. No one was killed, but two of the three people were taken into custody. One person went to the hospital later, and police believe it was the third suspect.
Ah, here we are at #1. Who guessed Arkansas? The state currently ranks 6th for violent crime, and that stat is only going up year over year. Some reports even put Little Rock, the state’s capital, as one of the most violent cities in the United States. Starting off, in 2013, one Newport, AR Walmart employee was injured by people pushing and shoving.
Two years prior, there was a sale on waffle irons at–you guessed it–Walmart! This time, it was Little Rock. The crowd went absolutely crazy for these $2 waffle irons. People were fighting and throwing things. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but it made headlines all across the nation. Talk about embarrassing.