BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Target shopper in Buffalo was trampled early Friday morning as shoppers flooded in the store for special deals.
Keith Krantz lived the nightmare of being trampled after waiting eight hours outside the Target off of Delaware Avenue. He says he's lucky to be alive.
Long before the sun came up, bargain hunters had lined up outside the Target store in Buffalo in the rain for Black Friday specials.
Erik Bauer said, "TV's man. Flat screen."
Ali Belstadt said, "It's been a crazy night, that's for sure, but it definitely went by fast."
It was about to get crazier. Just minutes before Store Manager Ben Gregory went to open the doors at 4 a.m., 30 to 40 people had cut in line. And when the flood gates opened, the crowd got out of control.
An employee shouted, "Don't run. Don't run. Don't run!"
As people rushed in to gobble up the sale items, one of the shoppers, Keith Krantz, had gotten pinned against a metal door support and then shoved from behind to the ground. He began screaming out in pain as shoppers stepped over, around, and on him. Shoppers went about their business as Keith began feeling his life might end at the Target doorway.
"At that moment, I was thinking I don't want to die here on the ground. That's exactly what I thought," said Keith.
A security guard and some Target employees had managed to free him from the crowd. Keith, who says he suffers from a herniated disc, staggered to a counter.
Keith said, "I remember kind of being hunched over and I was looking for my brother, and I just kind of stumbled away toward the television section to see where he was."
Kevin Krantz said, "He met up with me and pretty much collapsed, and luckily some lady, she called the paramedics."
Keith was given a CAT Scan and X-rays and pain killers at the hospital.
"I see it as a little absurd. I don't think it's worth standing out there all night to get trampled or trample somebody else," said Keith.
Management at the Target Store said the company will take care of Keith's medical bills. The store was also expecting two Buffalo Police patrol cars to come by when the doors opened, but police were called to a shooting around that time. Target's corporate office says its crowd management tactics will be analyzed and improved at the north Buffalo store.
Target released this response following the incident:
The safety of our guests and team members is a top priority. We take this incident very seriously. Target plans well in advance of Black Friday and employs numerous crowd management tactics to prevent incidents. We continually analyze and improve those plans, and will do so in this case, to help ensure a safe and enjoyable.
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