A woman shrieked that a crazy man was trying to kill her before running into a busy Gold Coast McDonald’s restaurant where she was shot dead.
The 49-year-old woman died in front of terrified diners, while the 57-year-old man, believed to be her ex-partner, is not expected to survive after turning the gun on himself.
“He just walked inside, put his arm around her and just put the gun to her chest and shot her,” a witness, who did not want to be named, told reporters.
“Then he put the gun to his own head and collapsed over the top of her.”
The woman had reportedly moved from their Maryborough home recently for a fresh start on the Gold Coast.
She was one of two women murdered in apparent domestic violence attacks on the tourist strip in two days, prompting Queensland’s premier to plead for women in danger to call triple zero immediately.
The state government has said it will fast-track legislation to tackle domestic violence.
Police described Thursday morning’s incident at the Helensvale restaurant as “graphic” and “tragic”.
“Imagine what it would be like just to be going about your normal business, and have something like that occur right in front of you,” Detective Inspector Mark White told reporters.
A witness said he heard the woman in the car park yelling that the man was “crazy” and trying to kill her before she ran into the restaurant.
A motorcycle policeman was the first to respond and gave CPR to both. A second officer arrived to help.
Det Insp White said the man was not thought to have threatened anyone else in the restaurant.
Investigators spent the day combing the restaurant, examining the pair’s cars, taking statements from witnesses and reviewing CCTV footage.
The owner of a nearby fish-and-chip shop, Chris Daly, said the McDonald’s would have been filled with families having breakfast before venturing to nearby theme parks.
“It’s always busy at that time,” he told AAP.
“It’s quite shocking. You just don’t know who you’re rubbing shoulders with.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson said the company was assisting police and providing counselling services to staff.
The shooting comes after a series of violent episodes in southeast Queensland this week, including the death of Gold Coast mother Tara Brown who was attacked in her crashed car on Tuesday, and a machete attack in Brisbane’s western outskirts on Thursday morning.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14