Bargain hunters who turned out Thursday night to snag Black Friday deals at a Kohl’s in Romeoville, Ill., probably didn’t expect to see the scene that unfolded outside the store. Crime tape and squad cars blocked off an area of the parking lot where around 10:15 p.m., police shot a suspected shoplifter who was fleeing the store in a Pontiac Sunfire, dragging another police officer whose arm was stuck in the door across the pavement.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police were first alerted to a shoplifting in progress around 10 p.m. CST Thursday. When officers arrived on the scene, they waited outside the store for the suspected shoplifters to show. When two men exited Kohl’s with shopping carts, police approached the men, who quickly jumped into a waiting vehicle driven by a third man.
When one of the officers caught up to the vehicle, one of the suspects closed the door on the officer’s arm. The driver then sped off, dragging the officer along with him through the parking lot.
“A second responding officer verbally ordered the driver multiple times to stop the vehicle as it continued in the parking lot, dragging the officer," police said in a statement. "After repeated orders to stop, the officer fired three to four shots at the driver."
The driver was hit in the shoulder and officers were able to apprehend the suspects. The police officer who was dragged suffered only minor injuries.
According to ABC Local, felony charges were filed against two of the suspects in the Kohl’s shoplifting incident. Robert Russell, 51, was charged with attempted murder, retail theft and obstructing an officer. Gerald Chamberlain, 28, faces a felony theft charge. The third individual, a 52-year-old man who was driving the car, is in the hospital.
“What bothers me is it was over clothing,” one witness to the Kohl’s shooting told the Chicago Sun-Times. “So that’s upsetting that somebody felt they had to steal clothing, and a police office put his life on the line for that. It’s not like a jewelry heist or a bank robbery.”
The shooting at a Kohl’s in Illinois wasn’t the only Black Friday shopping incident this year. In Carlsbad, Calif., a young man allegedly stabbed another man at the El Camino Real mall, according to a statement from the Carlsbad Police Department.
In Las Vegas, a man was shot while transporting a brand new big screen television he had just purchased at Target. According to 8 News Now, the victim was unloading his new TV at his apartment when another man approached him and tried to take it. The would-be thief’s gun went off, hitting the victim in the leg. The shooter fled the scene without the big screen.
Across the country, in Garfield, N.J., a man was pepper sprayed inside a Walmart after a squabble with another shopper over a television got out of hand. According to The Star-Ledger, 23-year-old Richard Ramos was arrested after he became “belligerent” during an argument with another customer.