SAN JOSE, Calif. - More than 50 people were hospitalized Sunday after pepper spray was released in four stores, police said.
Customers first began complaining of watery, burning eyes at a Kmart on the city's east side, about five miles from downtown. The store was evacuated about 3 p.m., sending 30 people to local hospitals complaining of nausea, sore throats and itchy eyes, said San Jose Fire Capt. Mark Mooney. No serious injuries were reported.
Two hours later, the same symptoms cleared a Ward's department store and a Walgreen's pharmacy, sending 16 and six people to the hospital, respectively. A Starbucks also was evacuated, but no one was hospitalized, Mooney said.
No suspects have been identified, but police believe the incidents, which occurred within a five-mile radius, are related, said San Jose Police spokesman Rubens Dalaison.