Virginia Waller knew something was wrong she saw her friend Arunya Rouch come to a Publix in Tarpon Springs the afternoon of March 30, 2010.
"I just had a feeling because she'd been fired that morning," Walker recalled Friday.
Rouch is on trial for killing an ex-co-worker and firing several more shots inside the Publix.
Waller is a key witness for the state. She told jurors she thought something was odd when Rouch refused to take her hand out of a bright green Publix shopping bag. Eventually she realized there was a gun in the bag.
"I put my arm around her neck and I restrained her the best I could," Waller continued. "We struggled for quite a while."
A store security camera shows what appears to be Rouch and Waller hugging. Waller told jurors it was not a friendly embrace. "I said '....come on baby don't do this, don't ruin your life and everybody else's don't do something so stupid.'"
Eventually, shoppers noticed the struggle. Yolonda Rosario told the jury she though Rouch was trying to shop lift. Then she saw the gun.
"I was just hoping that the gun wouldn't go off," she recalled.
Rosario headed for the exit. "I heard three gun shots go off as I'm running out of the store."
Police say one of the shots was fired in the meat department, from which Rouch had just been fired. Ron Chiemlorz, the meat department manager may have been one of Rouch's intended targets.
"Arunya comes after me with a gun straight up in my face, I believe she pulled the trigger; I see a bullet eject." The gun mis-fired.
Assistant State Attorney Fred Schaub asked Chiemlorz what he thought would happen. "What I thought my kids would be fatherless," he said as he began to choke up.
Rouch's attorney claims his client was insane at the time of the shooting. George Tragos said Rouch had been repeatedly harassed, called names, even locked inside a cooler. He is expected to call a psychiatrist to explain Rouch's psychological condition at the time.
The trial will extend into next week.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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