Eyewitnesses described the unimaginable scene Tuesday afternoon, watching in absolute shock as Joseph Moody, a 41 year old Panama City firefighter, opened fire into a car driven by Megan Pettis, 24 years old.
"I think about the daughter I have who's about that age. I'm just beyond upset. I'm not even going to go to work," said Eyewitness Donna Touchtone.
"It just makes me nervous to know that in broad daylight here in Panama City that someone would just take out a gun and just randomly shoot," Shopper Janice Johnson added.
The Panama City Police Department said the shooting happened just before 1:00 p.m. in the Publix plaza off 23rd Street, the busiest time of the day in that highly traveled shopping center.
"One of these bullets could have hit you," NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson told Eyewitness Mike Usery.
"Yes, it's a scary thought. You think you could go get a burger or go to the grocery store without someone pulling out a gun and trying to shoot you," answered Usery.
NewsChannel was told the shooter fired several rounds into the victim's car. Fearing for her life, Pettis slammed on the gas only to crash into three cars in the Wendy's parking lot.
"She was just trying to get out of this parking lot as soon as she could," Usery said.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman then fled on foot back down the car aisle where a group of innocent bystanders tackled him to the ground.
"Thank God somebody caught him, that somebody was brave enough to hold him down," Touchtone said.
Police officers immediately arrested him, booking him into the Bay County Jail charged with attempted felony murder and discharging a firearm in public. Paramedics rushed Pettis to Bay Medical Center where she was fighting for her life Tuesday night.
Initial investigations into the shooting point to a domestic dispute. The Panama City Police Department said the two had ended their relationship recently.