Man Pulls Gun in Trading Card-Related Attack in a Target Parking Lot

Police responded to a fight in a Target parking lot where a man pulled a gun during a scuffle over collectible sports cards.
Image: YouTube screengrab

A fight broke out in a Target parking lot in Brookfield, Wisconsin Friday, soon after the store restocked trading cards. Police arrived on the scene when witnesses called them after one man pulled a gun. According to a local news report, a group of men was attacking the gun owner when he pulled the weapon. The Target and Trader Joes went into lockdown for an hour after police arrived.

The man never fired his weapon and no one was seriously injured, according to a police press release about the incident. The incident occured on May 7 at 8:20 AM outside of a Target store, which has a policy of only selling collectible merchandise at 8 AM on Fridays. According to the police report, four men attacked a fifth man when he exited the Target carrying a box of sports cards.


“Preliminary reports revealed that this altercation appears to have stemmed from a disagreement involving the purchase/possession of sports trading cards obtained from Target,” the police report said. “During the assault, the victim who is a valid [concealed carry] holder was able to access his firearm at which point his attackers fled on foot. No shots were fired nor did the victim pursue his attackers. All four were located in the surrounding area and taken into custody. The victim suffered minor injuries which did not require immediate medical attention on the scene.”

The four men have been arrested and will be charged with battery, strangulation, and disorderly conduct.

Pulling a gun during a parking lot scuffle is just the latest story attached to the current resurgence of the collecting cards. Sports, Magic: The Gathering, and Pokémon cards have become so sought after that stores can’t keep up with demand. It’s also causing a labor crisis as the companies that professionally grade cards for resale can’t keep up with the “avalanche of cards” they’ve seen the past year.

“It’s common to have 50 plus people standing in line all day, 6 to 8 hours, waiting to see if they can get one box of cards,” Brookfield sports memorabilia store owner Jeff Lemiux told WISN 12 News. 

Target had previously promised to call the police on rowdy customers, but it’s unclear who notified the cops in Brookfield. Target has already altered its policies, limiting the number of collectible items that can be purchased in a day, only selling the items briefly on Friday mornings, and asking that customers not wait in the parking lot overnight.

Target did not immediately respond to Motherboard’s request for comment on the incident in Brookfield. Brookfield police declined to answer any questions about the incident and did not immediately give Motherboard an incident report; instead, it sent us a press release about the altercation.