A customer shot pepper spray at other customers at a busy Northridge Wal-Mart store late Thursday night, causing minor injuries to at least 10 people who had been waiting hours for Black Friday savings, according to Los Angeles firefighters and a police lieutenant. The Associated Press later reported 20 injuries.
"It was an unhappy customer'' who spritzed pepper spray at the Wal-Mart, 19821 Rinaldi Street, at 10:10 p.m., said Lt. Abel Parga at the Los Angeles Police Department's Devonshire station. The suspect then left the store.
Firefighters arrived to treat at least 10 people, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Shawn Lenske. Injuries were minor, he said.
A witness told NBC4 that the incident started as people waited in line for the new Xbox 360. The witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line.
The woman was not arrested, and police were said to be reviewing security tape.
Parga said it appeared only one person would need to be transported to a hospital for treatment.
One section of the store was cleared while patients were treated and the pepper spray dissipated, Parga said.
People were seen pouring out of the store, but customers were allowed back in to continue shopping.