Black Friday shopping chaos, violence surfaces across U.S.

It's that time of year again! Holiday shopping season was in full swing Friday — and so was all the mayhem, chaos and even violence that have become synonymous with the words "Black Friday."

At least a dozen retail chains, including Gap, Target and Macy's, got an early start to the shopping madness this year by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. (Via ABC)

But that still didn't stop several reported, ahem, incidents from popping up at stores around the country.

We first take you to Chicago, where a driver who police believe was involved in a shoplifting scheme caused a major ruckus in a Kohl's parking lot. (Via Chicago Sun-Times)

It all started around 10 p.m. Thursday when police say they were informed of a theft in progress inside the store. Officers waited outside and soon saw two suspects wheeling a shopping cart toward a black SUV outside. (Via WTAE)

One officer reportedly went over to the vehicle to investigate, and what happened next was anything but routine.

"There was a struggle and the officer was partially caught in the car and dragged by it. A second officer fired a shot, hitting him in the shoulder." (Via WFOR)

Both the driver and officer were taken to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The driver is now in police custody.

Speaking of gunshots, a customer at a Las Vegas Target was reportedly shot in the leg while walking to his apartment complex with a brand new big screen TV. (Via KOVR)

Police told KLAS the victim was headed home with the TV when a suspect approached him and fired a warning shot. The victim dropped the box, and the suspect took it to a car waiting nearby.

Officers say the victim then approached the car and tried to get the TV back, so the suspect fired several more rounds — but this time, the victim was hit in the leg. He was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay.

And another police officer was reportedly injured while trying to break up a Black Friday scuffle at a Wal-Mart in Southern California. (Via KNBC)

According to authorities, the fight broke out after the store manager decided to open up early and shoppers tried to cut in front of others in line. Fortunately, the officer involved only suffered a minor unknown injury. (Via San Bernardino County Sun)

And there have been plenty of photos of other Black Friday tiffs posted online, even inspiring the Twitter hashtag #WalmartFights. That trended off an on Friday morning, by the way.

Like these guys, who look like they got into it while leaving a Wal-Mart. (Via Twitter / @CassandraRules)

And these frantic people pushing and shoving over what the video's poster says was a TV. Yikes. (Via YouTube / Blackhawk715)

Yeeeah. It's probably because of all this more Americans are choosing to do their Black Friday shopping from the comfort of their own homes. (Via CNN Money)

A Gallup poll found that 53 percent of shoppers planned to make their purchases online this year — the highest number since the company began asking the question in 1998.

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