A leading Hollywood stuntwoman, who often doubled for Nicole Kidman, was shot dead alongside her husband in a shootout as they were accused of ambushing her ex husband and his new wife.

Cherryl Sanders, 59, died alongside her husband Reed Sanders on Wednesday (Thursday, NZ time), according to the New York Post.

Cherryl, who appeared in Back to the Future II and had appeared as a stunt double for Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba, travelled six hours to confront her ex-husband, Lindsey Duncan, and his wife Molly outside their home.

The incident sparked an intense and deadly gun battle that was described as "an ambush".

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Leading Hollywood stuntwoman Cheryl Sanders, who doubled for Nicole Kidman, was shot dead alongside her husband in a wild gun battle. Photos / Supplied; Getty Images
Leading Hollywood stuntwoman Cheryl Sanders, who doubled for Nicole Kidman, was shot dead alongside her husband in a wild gun battle. Photos / Supplied; Getty Images

"All of a sudden, hell began," Duncan told a press conference of the "absolute, total ambush" that sparked two gun battles in which hundreds of shots were fired.

"The most difficult of this whole process — besides listening to my wife say, 'I'm going to die, they're going to kill me' — is having to tell my two daughters that their mother's been shot," Duncan said of the girls he shared with his dead ex-wife, according to Dayton 24/7 Now.

Police say Duncan admitted he shot dead Cherryl Sanders and her husband during the incident.

Duncan told a press conference he and his wife, Molly, were returning from a normal morning run for coffee and "our eggs and our kale" when they were victims of an "absolute, total ambush".

He told reporters that a "6-foot something" man in "a full camo mask and hoodie" put a gun inches from his wife's head. He said "I thought it was a bad nightmare" and "whatever happened after that was instinct".

Stuntwoman Cheryl Wheeler Sanders was killed during a shootout with her ex-husband. Photo / Supplied
Stuntwoman Cheryl Wheeler Sanders was killed during a shootout with her ex-husband. Photo / Supplied

He claims there were two separate gun battles, and bullets were flying just centimetres from his wife's head.

"Her being alive today, I'll never be able to explain that," he said.

"And it wasn't one shot or two shots, it seemed like a hundred shots and there were shells everywhere."

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Reporters asked Duncan and Molly whether the stuntwoman and her husband were there to discuss an educational trust fund.

Cheryl Sanders with Mel Gibson. Photo / Supplied
Cheryl Sanders with Mel Gibson. Photo / Supplied

Duncan interrupted, asking: "With two weapons? With multiple clips that were loaded … ski masks?"

His wife jumped in, saying: "The word 'ambush' is exactly what it was. We were caught off-guard. They said nothing and they started shooting at us."

Duncan has not been charged during the ongoing investigation.

The case is currently labelled a "justifiable homicide".

Greene County prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt told WDTN the "very complex set of facts" would be "a long process" to fully investigate.