Black Friday Shoppers Step Over Man Who Lay Dying on the Floor

Black Friday shoppers at a West Virginia Target did not allow collapsed-and-dying man Walter Vance to disturb their holiday shopping experience. They simply walked around or stepped over him, before somebody else swept up all those cheap towels and soap dishes.

Vance, 61, was a pharmacist and reputed all-around nice man who suffered from heart problems. According to his wife Lynn, He'd had a stent inserted about two weeks ago, which may or may not have contributed to his death. Witnesses assert that, after Vance collapsed, most shoppers ignored or avoided him, keeping their eyes on the prize (fabulous deals!). However, Lynn told the Charleston Gazette that "about six" nurses who had been shopping at Target came to his aide, which suggests that nurses are the only caring people left in Charleston. One of the helpful nurses and a paramedic administered CPR, and Target employees called an ambulance. Eventually Vance died at a local hospital.

Should all the Target shoppers who failed to help Vance feel like wicked psychopathic monsters now? Well, walking over a dying man during your quest for discount bathrobes, as though he were simply a fallen tree branch in the road, in one's way, certainly takes a special kind of person. That said, under U.S. tort laws, there is no legal duty to rescue anyone—only a moral one. In this litigious country, people who have acted upon their perceived moral obligation to rescue others have been sued for their humanitarian efforts. Some states protect Good Samaritans from lawsuits, but how many people know what their state tort laws say? So it's possible that the shoppers were afraid that if they helped Vance they would end up in court somehow.

Let's not rule out the possibility that they're psychopathic monsters, though.

[Charleston Gazette, MSNBC. Image via WSAZ]