SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Before the turkey was on the table, some holiday shoppers were already hitting the stores -- and in some cases, the outside of them. Kmart in Springfield, Va., was open for business at 6 a.m., and shoppers who hoped to grab some early deals on Thanksgiving morning were there when the doors opened.
Others lined up to wait for stores to open for Thanksgiving Day shopping-- including a line of people at the Best Buy at Springfield Town Center. FOX 5's Annie Yu and Emily Miller found some holiday shoppers waiting out their deals in style -- in a tent. And it also got a bit heated.
The first person in line at the store was Ahmad Shukrey. He said he arrived to take his place in line at noon on Wednesday. But even with a 29-hour wait, he was challenged for his position by a woman who put down a chair and left. She came back at 9 p.m. Wednesday and wanted to retake her place in line.
“She was angry, and I was telling her, ‘No, you’re not getting in the front of the line. I’ve been here since 12 [p.m.],'” Shukrey told us. “And she proceeds to attack me with the chair, pushing into my friend, knocking me over and twisting my ankle.”'
“She refused to calm down and then she started to get put under arrest for the assault charge,” said Steven Boone. “And she started resisting arrest and while she was resisting arrest, she actually hit an officer.”
Fairfax County police confirmed this account of what happened when the woman cut in line.
Boone was second in line, and he said he had been waiting since about 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Specifically, he was waiting to save big bucks on a 49-inch Toshiba TV which is normally $430 -- but the Thanksgiving Day doorbuster deal was $150. Boone is a college student, and he said he's all about the savings.
To pass the time, Boone and a friend pitched a tent in their spot, and then hooked up an inverter to his car so they could play Playstation games. When that died, he said they had to start being social. They also had a butane heater in the tent to help them stay warm, and were even making instant coffee and ramen noodles using a pot with hot water.
Boone said at first, his mom didn't like the idea of him waiting out a deal instead of being home for the holiday, but he was able to get her to warm up to it. He told FOX 5 he'll head home for dinner and time with his family as soon as he has that TV in hand.
It was totally peaceful at the Walmart store, which opened on Thanksgiving morning. But it wasn’t a mad rush because the superstore doesn’t break open the Black Friday deals until 6 p.m. So Walmart shoppers got last-minute stuff for Thanksgiving instead.
Toys “R” Us had the fencing set up for lines for their opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, but no one was there as of 1 p.m.
At Target, which opened at 6 p.m. on Thursday had only two guys in line at midday. The first man, who got here at 9 a.m., actually works in the store, but he can’t get the Black Friday deals unless he waits like everyone else.
“Once the doors open, I’m going to do shopping a little bit and then come on shift and work about 12 hours,” said Henok Berhane.
Berhane was there early for the deals on TVs.
A second customer arrived at noon to wait alongside with him in. These two strangers discussed what they were going to eat for lunch, work-related topics and what they were going to buy.
The altercation outside Best Buy was not typical holiday spirit. The rest of these other dedicated shoppers shared tents, coupon books and their Thanksgiving spirit.