TWO Ballina locals feared for their lives when they were caught up in Saturday's shooting at Robina Town Centre.
A gunman opened fire in the packed shopping centre about 2pm, injuring a 43-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman.
Police say the injured man had links to an outlaw motorcycle gang and they believe he was targeted by a gang member.
Two Ballina locals, who did not wish to be named, were in the food court at the time.
One said they heard a bang, then saw hordes of terrified shoppers run towards them and realised "someone had a gun".
"We almost got knocked over from the people running towards us," the shopper said.
"There were phones left on tables, trays of food flying everywhere and people just ran."
Amid chaos, survival instincts kicked in and the pair began scanning for their nearest exit.
"There were people coming down escalators, through side doors and running into shops and shutting the doors."
The shopper said the food court was packed with families and young children at the time.
As other shoppers began gesturing that the gunman was heading upstairs, the pair decided to stay in the food court.
They remained there until it was safe to leave.
The shootings follow other incidents last week in which shots were fired at a tattoo parlour on the Gold Coast, a car was set on fire in Brisbane and two other premises were attacked by men wielding baseball bats.
Police have suggested the public nature of the attacks shows tensions are escalating between bikie gangs.
The Ballina locals said they would still be happy to return to the Gold Coast, but had been spooked by the experience.
"There was this amazing noise from everyone trying to run at once but no one was speaking," the witness recalled.
"It was really bizarre, almost surreal."