A New York corrections officer opened fire on her ex-boyfriend outside a prison in Queens on Monday (2 May).

The pair were arguing outside the Queensboro Correctional Facility on Van Dam Street when she shot at him at about 6:30am (12:30pm BST). She was reportedly in uniform while her ex was not.

The hail of bullets sent her ex, who is also believed to be a corrections officer, running into the Long Island City complex for cover, according to the New York Daily News. He is not believed to have suffered any injuries.

Reports suggest the woman briefly left the scene before returning to unleash multiple shots at her former partner's vehicle.

The woman – who has not yet been identified – then shot herself in the chest. She was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, but medics could not save her.

Online neighbourhood news service DNAinfo New York spoke to members of the public who witnessed the mayhem between the female corrections officer, 47, and her ex-boyfriend, 44, outside the minimum security prison.

"I saw a female corrections officer shooting at a guy. I was making a left turn and the bullet hit the passenger's' side door. I heard six shots in total," recalled Rafael Macias, 40. "She was flying down the block."

Darison Abreu, 27, was travelling in Macias' car and said the shooter appeared to be silent and calm during the chaos.

"She wasn't saying anything. She had a determined look on her face," said Abreu. "They weren't too far apart, maybe 30 feet. He was running straight. I had my arm on the door when the bullet hit it. I felt the vibration in my arm."

Describing the moment he ran towards her immediately after the guard shot herself, Abreu said: "She was on her back, face up. Her eyes were a little more than half open.

"She wasn't saying nothing. She was breathing, though. I was trying to see where exactly she was shot, but the other Corrections officers were pushing me back."