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Pepper-spray shopping incident in self-defense?

November 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Was a pepper-spray incident at Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving night self-defense? That's what police are trying to figure out as they investigate what happened. Detectives are asking for more witnesses to come forward.

About 14 witnesses to the Thanksgiving night incident had come forward as of Monday afternoon.

A YouTube video shows crowd desperation for half-price videogames at the Porter Ranch Wal-Mart.

"As soon as the wrappers came off the pallets, it was total pandemonium there," said LAPD Det. Mike Fesperman.

Police say that at some point, a 32-year-old mother from the San Fernando Valley pepper-sprayed the crowd. Police say at least 14 people were hit.

The case made national news as police pleaded for the woman to turn herself in. The woman surrendered to police Friday night.

"She declined to be interviewed," said LAPD Lt. Tim Torsney. "We gathered her information and we released her."

Police did not release the woman's identity.

Police want more witnesses to come forward. Police think there are at least 10 more out there.

"We have multiple people with multiple perceptions of what occurred, and we're trying to do our best to piece together the investigation to try to determine the suspect's state of mind at the time the incident took place," said Torsney.

"If you use OC spray for anything other than self-defense, it could be a felony or it could be a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances," said Torsney.

Surveillance video from inside the store has not been released, according to the LAPD.

If you have information related to the incident, contact the LAPD Devonshire Division at (818) 832-0609.

See photos of the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

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