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Woman knocked down, trampled at Wal-Mart during Black Friday frenzy

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Posted at 10:19 PM, Nov 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-30 00:19:49-05

CLINTON, Utah -- Black Friday turned into black eye Friday at some stores, and a Wal-Mart employee in Clinton was trampled.

Brian Wilks and Jill Tooker said the crowd was well-behaved just before 8 o'clock Thursday night, but when employees cut into a cellophane pallet of electronic tablets, witnesses said shoppers became unglued in a rush for the discount item.

"Everybody out of the way, get out of the way," police screamed at the time.

Clinton police tried to control the mob of shoppers. Wilks said that seconds before they knocked over an off-duty Wal-Mart employee, "people were chanting: 'Open up the pallet, open it up.'"

Shoppers were eager for $49 tablets. Brian Wilk's girlfriend felt the tension increasing.

"Everybody in the front of the store could hear rumbling, screaming, everyone going crazy," Tooker said.

The footage from Clinton is similar to cell phone video from a Wal-Mart in Atlanta: When the cellophane pallet was cut, the rush was on. At the Clinton store, shoppers knocked that Wal-Mart employee to the floor.

"She was absolutely stepped on,” Tooker said. “The girl who was trying to help her up had shoe prints on her pants and shirt.”

"You could tell she had been smashed, ran over, something, it was bad,” Wilks said. “I felt so bad for her.”

The two are grateful the Wal-Mart employee wasn't seriously hurt but were sad to know similar stories have played out across the country. Shoppers have been arrested after fighting over TVs.

One man in Las Vegas was even shot in the leg by a passerby as the victim was walking on the street with a TV he bought.  He survived, but Wilks and Tooker said Black Friday took a dark turn they never expected.

"It was like people were doing it to get an item that isn't worth hurting people over,” Wilk said. “It seemed like people were maliciously trying to hurt people to get to the front of the line.”

"They didn't care,” Tooker said. “I don't get it. We don't care that much about stuff."

No one has reportedly been killed this year in Black Friday brawls, but since this has happened so much there is a website that tracks deaths and injuries on Black Friday over the years. Click here for more information.