While it’s easy to go tongue-in-cheek whenever writing about Walmart (this is the store, after all, that has websites devoted to its many bizarrely dressed customers!), what happened yesterday at one of its stores in San Jose, California is no laughing matter. As about 70 shoppers milled through the store on Sunday morning, likely looking for last-minute Easter purchases, the morning bustle was shattered by the sounds of a car slamming into cars in the parking lot as it approached the building, plowing through the front wall, scattering merchandise and landing 20′ into the store.
But what happened next was even more terrifying: like a scene out of a horror film, the clearly crazed driver – described only as a man in his 30s – climbed out of his battered Oldsmobile Cutlass, grabbed a “blunt object” (later identified as a “metal bar“), and began assaulting anyone within his reach. Four were injured, one reportedly seriously, as shoppers ran screaming from the store or in any direction they could to get out of his reach.
Shortly after the police arrived and the man was taken into custody. As of this writing there are no reports as to what compelled either the collision or the assault. From The Huffington Post:
Customer Sharon Kaye told the San Jose Mercury News the driver sideswiped her car as he made several runs around the parking lot before driving between poles at the entrance and crashing into the store.
“At first, I thought I may have done something to anger him while driving,” she said. “But then I realized he was out to get into the store.”
Which, of course, leaves open the suggestion that this may be a case of a disgruntled customer or former employee “going Walmart” in an act of rage or revenge. More to come on that angle.
For the moment, concerns are with those injured, particularly a cashier indicated as “seriously injured.” Despite efforts by some of the more courageous customers to keep the driver down after the car came to a stop, he was able to swing that metal bar and inflict some damage. The cashier took a blow, incurring a head injury.