"A Tata 407 was spotted speeding down KN Katju Marg soon after we received a call at around 2am about the theft of cows accompanied by some firing," said Tejendra Luthra, joint commissioner of police (northern range).
A police team tried to stop the vehicle but it sped away, jumping traffic lights on the Outer Ring Road, Luthra said. Some men in the rear pelted the police vans in tow with stones and opened fire.
Two more police teams joined the chase and returned fire, finally deflating the mini-truck's rear tyres near Lok Vihar in Pitampura.
"Five suspects, all in their 20s and all residents of Ghaziabad's Masuri district, were arrested," said DCP (outer) BS Jaiswal.
"They were rushed to hospital and given medical aid along with Constable Balkar Singh, who took a bullet on his shoulder. One of the gangsters, Yakub, however, succumbed to a bullet injury on his forehead. Raids are being conducted to nab the three who fled," Jaiswal added.
The police said all the men had criminal records.