Soldiers driving past the scene in the car park of a Texas Homecare store saw the couple, Mrs June Dorothy Anne Smith, 45, and Stuart James Jobson, 42, arguing and stopped their Land-Rover to intervene. They could only watch as Mrs Smith was shot four times.
Mrs Smith's daughter screamed incessantly as she cowered and clutched her two children - one a baby - before fleeing to the safety of the store in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Yesterday afternoon the store remained closed as detectives sealed off the car park to conduct a fingertip search of the area.
A Home Office pathologist carried out post-mortem examinations on the bodies of the couple.
Mrs Smith, her daughter and grandchildren were returning to their red Ford Escort just after midday when Mr Jobson arrived in the car park alone in his gold Ford Capri.
Shoppers at the store in Swindon Road heard a commotion and saw Mr Jobson reach into the boot of his car and pull out a 12-bore shotgun.
At first he aimed at the younger woman and her two children, but then turned it on Mrs Smith, who was killed as she told her daughter to run for cover.
Mary Roberts, 26, whose flat overlooks the car park, said: 'I saw this woman duck behind a blue car and a man, dressed in a black T-shirt, dark jeans and trainers, pointing a gun in her direction and firing. He fired a total of four shots from the sawn-off shotgun.'
She told how Mr Jobson reloaded the weapon as another woman was standing nearby with the children. 'She was screaming and screaming while he pointed the gun towards her, reloading. The girl seemed to be trying to calm down the situation but it did not work.'
The young woman then grabbed her child and ran towards the store. 'The next thing I knew he had the gun at his chest and he pulled the trigger. I am still shaking, I feel really terrible. I could see everything from my flat, it was blood everywhere and it was terrible.'
Eight police cars and two ambulances went to the scene and found the pair lying face down in pools of blood, cartridges strewn around.
The couple were said to have had separate addresses in Cheltenham, but Gloucestershire police declined to give details.Reuse content