Black Friday is expected to see robust spending, but it's also arriving with some serious costs: A suspected gunman was killed by police after he opened fire late Thursday night at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Alabama, injuring two people, including a 12 year-old girl, according to news reports.
The shooting marked a grim start to what is expected to be strong holiday spending this year. Big sales are forecast amid the booming economy, which could also be at its cyclical peak, according to some analysts. Holiday spending for November and December could come out to as much as $721 billion when all is said and done, according to the National Retail Federation. That's a 4.8% increase over last year's holiday season. About 164 million shoppers are expected to hit stores during the course of the five-day Thanksgiving break.
Besides the mall attack, no other major injuries or deaths were reported by early Friday, but this sort of violence isn't uncommon for Black Friday and holiday shopping frenzies. A total of 10 deaths and 111 injuries have marred Black Friday since 2006, according to blackfridaydeathcount.com. Before Thursday, the last Black Friday death was in 2016 at a Walmart Inc. (WMT) - Get Report store in San Antonio, when a man helping a woman getting beaten up was fatally shot in the parking lot outside the store, according to reports.
Black Friday injuries are increasingly common, according to personal injury law firm The Carlson Law Firm, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The injuries can be caused by stampedes of eager customers lining up outside retail stores, fights between customers, and other tragedies.
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