November 28th, 2008
08:57 PM ET

Trampled to death in a Wal-Mart stampede

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/11/28/black.friday.violence/art.walmart.ny.jpg
caption="A Wal-Mart employee at this Long Island location was killed in a rush early Friday morning."]
Gabriel Falcon
AC360 Writer

Jdimypai Damour began the day working part-time at a Wal-Mart mega-store in Valley Stream, New York. His job was to stand by the entrance doors - marked with a sign saying "BLITZ LINE STARTS HERE" - as the crush of early-morning holiday bargain-hunters began their frenzied Black Friday shopping.

Damour never made it home alive. The 34-year-old man from Queens, New York was crushed to death, a victim of a massive stampede of people pouring into Wal-Mart. One detective described the scene to CNN, calling it “utter chaos as these men tried to open the door this morning.”

Police officers who arrived to tend to Damour reportedly couldn’t even break through the mob to get to Damour. As the man lay dying on the ground, men and women continued to trample over him, fixed on gifts and deals, seemingly ignoring his plight or refusing to help.

In a statement, Wal-Mart said, "We are saddened to report that a gentleman who was working for a temporary agency on our behalf died at the store and a few other customers were injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time."

A video camera caught pictures of the police trying to rescue Damour with CPR. Please be cautious: the video can be disturbing.

Damour's death is tragic. He was an innocent man. But was a crime committed? A law broken? Authorities investigating this disturbing story have not filed any charges at this point. One officer told the New York Times that Wal-Mart “could have done more.”

What do you think?

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Barbara

    Check the cameras, find the people who did this and punish them for wrongful death.

    December 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  2. Leticia

    Life should be treasured because it is something that can't be bought and to think it was extinguished because people would rather purchase cheaper shirts or toys is a mark against mankind. When did people start to value others so littlely? That no one stopped to help shows how we are all isolated from others if not physically, then mentally, and in the hard times ahead that is the last thing we need to be; alone.

    December 1, 2008 at 11:09 am |
  3. Cody Salisbury

    This truly shows how materialistic and selfish we [the American people] really are. An innocent life was lost so that people can get their hands on cheaper goods. Just outrageous.

    December 1, 2008 at 10:45 am |
  4. sarah

    What a callous disregard and waste of a human life.

    The idiots that caused this mans death, whether they be customers or the Walmart corporation should be thoroughly ashamed of their behaviour.

    December 1, 2008 at 8:08 am |
  5. Heather,ca

    Oh how I have wanted to comment on this. I worked in retail in my twenties and I know all about how it works. The only reason people would feel they had to arrive in the early hours of the morning and run in is because the retailer advertised a sale. Does the phrase door busters sound familiar or early bird special. How about limited quanitities or while supplies last. This kind of advertising is specifically focused at these people. They want them to rush and run in. Its like when a new toy comes out and demand is bigger than supply. Same situation. This man didnt and shouldnt have died. But people dont behave this way unless the store advertisements indicate that they could miss out on a limited supply by 8am. They see it online or in the local paper and on TV commercials. Its wrong just wrong. This poor man died in the middle of pointless chaos during a time when people are trying to get a job, keep their home and give a little something of themselves. What happened to him is shameful. The people that regarded things more than a human being is a further statement on the values this country has sometimes. Was running over a dead man worth the xmas gifts. His family loved him and were proud of him and he had a future beyond all the stuff wrapped up with a bow. His life was priceless. There are no discounts or exchanges on death. All his family has is memories and pictures. I feel just terrible for his family. What a horrible and senseless way to die right before xmas.

    December 1, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  6. Gisselle - Houston, Texas

    If I barely could stand going into a Wal-Mart during a major holiday this makes me question my need to ever do it again.

    Some of the worst experiences I've ever had shopping during the holidays happened at Wal-Mart. I too believe that their employees are treated poorly and this is unfortunate.

    I don't know who in their right state of mind is in need of a bloody toaster of a video game that bad that would make them behave like animals. What kind of people are these? I am sickened and disgusted by the way some consumers behave over a hyped up gimmick to get as many people into a store when there are only a few of the actual items advertised available and on sale.

    My condolences and prayers go out to this man's family and I hope the savages that committed this crime are arrested and processed accordingly.

    I am utterly disgusted by it all!

    November 30, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  7. Rose from Muscoy

    Before anyone decide to go shopping on BLACK FRIDAY first update your Life and Medical Insurance just in case.

    November 30, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Elaine

    These stores need to put a stop to this, NOW. By having people camp out and lining up they are creating this mob atmosphere. Instead of these 4am deals on two items, the stores should have random giveaways and incentives throughout the day, throughout the season. Personally, I think every customer who ran into that Wal-Mart should be held accountable and required to serve jail time, pay a HUGE fine and serve 100's of hours of community service. It is shameful and disgraceful.

    November 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  9. Cheyenne

    This is just SICK AND DISGUSTING.

    When I heard about this story I pictured a bunch of fat cattle stampeding.

    November 30, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  10. Rose from Muscoy

    This is what shopping is all about? What happened to the real meaning of Christ-mas? What would God think of us now? Love your follow man and so on? Wal-Mart better look for a good attorney because a smell a suing going on in the near future! Yes, I do think that Wal-Mart could of done something before hand. Barricade the doors areas with a few polices. Is that why they called it BLACK FRIDAY!

    November 30, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
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