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Shoppers wasted no time tearing themselves away from their families to take advantage of the sales, with stores such as Walmart, Target and Sears packed with customers. One woman was arrested in Altamonte Springs, Florida, after she was disruptive in the line whilst fights broke out in a Walmart (center) over discounted wares. It all became too much for one sports store cashier in Alaska who had to be stretchered away after passing out (right). Many stores had an unusually heavy police presence to stop a repeat of the riots which have been seen in previous years.
Millions are battling for bargains across America today as the biggest shopping day of the year has got off to a flying start despite bad weather, giant crowds and fights in the supermarket aisles.
The first giant scrums started at a Walmart where families battled with each other to get their hands on a pair of $5 headphones, while paramedics rushed to help a Dick's store cashier who passed out.
With sales on Black Friday expected to soar by 3.8 per cent this year to a staggering $11.4 billion, thousands of shoppers queued around blocks before stores opened. As many as 11,000 lined around Macy's flagship store in New York City's Herald Square before it threw open its doors.
And immediately, the chaos began.
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Like animals: As a $5 deal for headphones drops in Walmart, the crowd goes wild to grab a pair
Overwhelmed: A Twitter user from Juneau, Alaska shared this photo of a cashier passed out in a Dick's store
Rush: The cashier is taken from the store by paramedics. The Twitter user said shoppers paid no attention
Outburst: A crowd gathers as security guards break up a fight between angered shoppers waiting in line before the doors open at Target in Bowling Green, Kentucky
In one Walmart, the fights were underway within minutes of opening - as captured on a video posted to YouTube by a father who brought his two children along to the sales.
The youngsters are filmed sitting in a shopping trolley as the person with the camera asks them if they're 'here for the craziness' adding that they are about to watch people fight over a $5 deal for a pair of headphones.
A large crowd are standing in a circle around the box of headphones waiting for the go-ahead from the Walmart staff.
The cameraman, posting on YouTube as David Quigley, struggles to keep his camera steady as the deal drops and the crowd goes wild, throwing themselves over the box.
Men, women and children are seen mercilessly elbowing each other as they shove to grab a pair.
Violence also escalated at a San Antonio mall after a shopper allegedly pulled a gun on another man who had tried to cut to the front of the line at a Sears, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The man had rushed into the store when it opened Thursday night to get to the front of a line and started arguing with people as he tried cutting in front of them.
A man who was punched in the face during the scuffle pulled a gun and shoppers scattered. But the man had a gun permit and has not been charged with a crime.
There was also drama elsewhere. One shopper from Juneau, Alaska tweeted a picture of a woman being carried from a Dick's store on a stretcher as crowds focused on the shelves.
'Cashier passed out at Dick's,' Stevie Hendrix tweeted. 'Black Friday was too much... No one cared, it was kind of sad, they just wanted their stuff.'
Busted: Samantha Chavez, 28, is arrested in a Walmart in Altamonte Springs, Florida after causing a scene
Battle: Shoppers fought for deals in the shoe department at the Columbiana Centre Belk in South Carolina
Ready: Shoppers position themselves for midnight openings at the Clackamas Town Center, Oregon
In Woodland Mall in Kentwood, Michigan, two teenagers were arrested after a brawl broke out between 15 men outside a JC Penney at 1.30am. Witnesses said pepper spray was used.
Arrest: Samantha Chavez, who was filmed as she was arrested in a Walmart in Florida, allegedly threw merchandise on the floor
At a Walmart in Altamonte Springs, Florida, 28-year-old Samantha Chavez was arrested after being disruptive in the traffic line, and allegedly bullying the officer directing vehicles.
Once inside the store, she allegedly threw merchandise on the floor.
Witnesses, who caught the arrest on video, claimed she only made a scene after losing her sister in the store and becoming scared, CFNews13 reported.
Police also responded to reports of shooting at 1am in In Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, where nine people were killed five years ago.
Authorities later learned that while a fight had broken out, witnesses had heard trash cans being knocked over, rather than gunshots. There were no arrests.
An hour later at nearby Oak View Mall, police got into a scuffle with a shoplifter who allegedly tried to spray mace at store security guards.
Another video from Black Friday shows hundreds of girls and women storming the entrance of a Victoria's Secret Pink store at Oak Park Mall, Kansas as it opened at midnight.
And in Springfield, Massachusetts, Anthony Perry, 34, was arrested after he allegedly left his girlfriend's two-year-old in his car so he could by a 51 inch television from Kmart.
Security notified police about the boy sleeping in the Nissan Venza, broke into the vehicle and took him to hospital for a check up.