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After Black Friday death, shoppers back at Wal-Mart

Other than glaziers out front fixing the doors damaged by a throng of impatient shoppers, there were no outward signs Saturday at the Valley Stream Wal-Mart of the chaos that turned this year's Black Friday into a day of death and mayhem.

Shoppers at the store, located near the Green Acres Mall, wheeled carts stuffed with big holiday gifts beginning shortly after the store opened at 7 a.m. A Salvation Army bell ringer solicited Christmastime donations.

But the specter of the stampede that killed Wal-Mart seasonal worker Jdimytai Damour, 34, Friday morning hung over the morning.

Shoppers echoed the sentiments of the Nassau County police detective supervising the investigation, who told reporters in the aftermath of Damour's death that the store could have and should have better prepared for the large crowds that camped out as early as 9 p.m. the night before for the post-Thanksgiving bargains.

Bibi Raffik of Jamaica, Queens, a frequent Wal-Mart shopper, said she always feels safe at the store.

The 41-year-old said, "I'm very shocked by what happened." She added: "There should have been more security here."

Wal-Mart has defended its security, noting that it hired additional personnel -- of whom Damour was one -- and put up barriers in anticipation of the Black Friday rush.

Out front on Saturday, the two glaziers from Solar Glass of Island Park worked to replace one of the doors unhinged by the shoppers just before 5 a.m. Friday.

In the melee, shoppers had pushed glass sliding doors to the ground, bending their aluminum frames like an accordion. The stampede resulted in the death of Damour, who was in the front vestibule helping to open the store for the morning. A cause of death is still pending an autopsy, police said.

Meanwhile, Damour's mother was en route to Jamaica, Queens, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help prepare her son's funeral arrangements, the family has said.

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