Every year, Black Friday brings grief to the family of Walmart worker Jdimytai Damour, 34, who was crushed to death by a mob of wild shoppers seven years ago, according to NY Daily News. In 2008, Damour – who is known to his friends as Jimbo – was scheduled to work on Black Friday at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream as an overnight stock clerk.
However, when Walmart opened its doors to more than 2,000 early morning shoppers, who had been waiting outside of the store all night, eager to get their hands on a “limited number of TVs, iPods, DVD players and other tech items,” Damour was asked to cover the front doors when Nassau County Police left the store, stating that it wasn’t in their job description to tame boisterous customers, according to court documents.
Being that Damour was 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, the store supervisor suggested that he and another employee, who was around the same size, cover the front door. However, things took a turn for the worst just moments after Walmart opened its doors at 5 a.m. Shoppers bum-rushed the entrance, shattering the glass sliding doors and knocking Damour and his co-worker to the floor. The Black Friday shoppers violently walked over the Walmart workers, crushing Damour to death, according to NY Times.
Damour’s co-worker survived the horrifying incident, but was transferred to a local hospital for minor injuries. Several shoppers were also injured, including a pregnant woman who said Damour tried to help her before he was crushed to death. After the Walmart workers’ death, Nassau County Police officials reviewed surveillance footage to determine which shopper would face criminal charges, but it was to no avail as it was difficult to determine.
The news came as a shock to Damour’s family, especially his cousin Ralph Damour who said “It’s very difficult to cope” and as a result he says “I never shop on Black Friday. That would be dishonoring his memory. We used to play together when we were younger. He was a great guy.”
Walmart worker Jimmy Overby, 43, said “He was bum-rushed by 200 people. They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down, too. I didn’t know if I was going to live through it. I literally had to fight people off my back.”
Damour’s 41-year-old sister Danielle stated, “They pushed him down and walked all over him. How could these people do that? He was such a young man with a good heart, full of life. He didn’t deserve that.” His cousin Ralph Damour added that “He was a young man full of life — and suddenly it was taken by people being greedy for stuff on sale. It never should have happened.”
His aunt Margareth Damour shops at the Walmart where he was killed, and she stated that “Every time I go by the [Walmart’s] door I think about him.” She often wonders if the store had hired more security officers in lieu of using their store clerks as security during that day, maybe the outcome would have been a lot different. A year after Damour’s death, the family’s attorney Kathleen Rice filed a “felony reckless endangerment charges against Walmart, but the store agreed to pay $2 million to settle the case and avoid criminal prosecution.” Walmart’s spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “With all likelihood that this matter would not conclude for a long time, we’ve decided to put it behind us and withdraw our appeal.”
Although it’s been seven years since the Walmart worker was crushed to death by wild Black Friday shoppers, his family says that although it’s sad how he died, they want to remember Jdimytai Damour as a kind and hardworking man.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]