This is the terrifying moment a shootout between bounty hunters and a fugitive broke out inside a car dealership in Texas, leaving three people dead.

Screams can heard in the mobile phone footage as the Nissan showroom erupts in a hail of bullets – sending customers and employees diving for cover.

The incident happened in Greenville, about 50 miles (80km) northeast of Dallas, on Tuesday (30 May).

Bounty hunters Gabriel Bernal, 33, and Fidel Garcia, 54, had arrived at the dealership to apprehend suspected criminal Ramon Hutchinson.

The pair can be seen approaching the 49-year-old suspect with their weapons drawn, before Hutchinson tries to grab – but drops – his own weapon.

A woman in the car showroom can then be heard shouting, "no, no," as there's a struggle, before Hutchinson manages to reclaim his gun and begin firing.

The person filming the footage joins others in ducking for cover as all three men fire their weapons, with about 20 rounds heard in the space of just six seconds.

Bernal, Garcia, and Hutchinson all suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the incident and died at the scene. No one else was injured, Associated Press reported.

Hutchinson, listed in court records as a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, was facing several charges that included assaulting a law enforcement officer and a first-degree drug offence.

Garcia, the owner of FNG Security and Investigations of Corpus Christi, had managed to track the suspect to the dealership with his employee Bernal.

"Mr. Garcia felt the defendant would ultimately appear at that dealership," said Stew Peters, a bail investigator with the private Minnesota-based company U.S. Fugitive Recovery and Extradition. "Unfortunately Mr. Hutchinson was more prepared for a gunfight."

Garcia sat on the board of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators. A fellow board member, Bradley Smith, described him as a "gentle giant".

"He was a big man and he had a big heart to go with it," Smith said.