Armed Thugs Shoot 1 Person Waiting in Wal-Mart PlayStation Line
PUTNAM, Conn. — On the first day the much anticipated PlayStation 3 hit shelves in stores across the country, two armed thugs in Connecticut targeted game seekers with fat wallets, shooting one person waiting in a Wal-Mart line who refused to give up money, authorities said.
Police were still searching for the suspects.
The two tried to rob of line of people waiting to buy the new gaming console early Friday. They confronted a "bunch of people who were in line" outside a Wal-Mart store shortly after 3 a.m. and demanded money, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police. The new Sony consoles are selling for around $500 to $600.
"One of the patron's resisted. That patron was shot," Vance said.
The two gunmen apparently fled, and the victim was taken to University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. There was no immediate word on the victim's condition.
Short supplies of the PS3 and strong demand led to lines of buyers, some waiting for days, outside stores across the country. Sony promised only 400,000 systems, which went on sale at midnight.
Many stores reported calm.
But in Palmdale, Calif., authorities shut down a Super Wal-Mart after some shoppers got rowdy late Wednesday. In West Bend, Wis., a 19-year-old man was injured when he ran into a pole racing with 50 others for one of 10 spots outside a Wal-Mart. A Best Buy in Boston, aware it had only 140 of the consoles, got smart — employees gave out tickets to the first 140 people in line so everyone could go home.
Potential customers braved freezing temperatures in Fargo, N.D., and heavy rain and winds in Baltimore and other East Coast locations.
"Katrina could come through here and I wouldn't switch," said Marco Cajas, 20, of Baltimore. "I spent the night on the cold street."
At a Circuit City in New York, Sergio Rodriguez was the first to walk away with the PS3 as people still standing in line outside the store cheered. He had been waiting outside since Sunday.
"This is the best game ever. It's so worth the wait," the 25-year-old graphics designer said. "Some people may call me crazy, but I really love to play."