Even with a loaded pistol in hand, Pankaj Kumar discovered he had nowhere to run as a crowd swarmed around him and the car, whose lone occupant he had just shot.
Though he was bleeding from his abdomen, Rakesh Awasthi, business head of a private firm, had managed to trap the 22-year-old and his motorcycle between his Honda Mobilio and a road divider.
Kumar and an accomplice had stopped next to Awasthi’s car at a Noida traffic signal around noon and grabbed a laptop lying on the front seat through an open window.
They tried to drive away, but the 35-year-old employee of Ozone Overseas Private Limited was able to corner them.
While his aide escaped, Kumar shot Awasthi once but failed to get away as he was hemmed in by dozens of passers-by.
“The victim was shot in the abdomen. He was rushed to Kailash Hospital and is out of danger,” said Kiran Sivakumar, the area’s senior superintendent of police.
The crowd thrashed the attacker for several minutes before handing him over to authorities.
Officials said they seized a TVS Apache motorcycle from the accused as well as a pistol, which he had acquired illegally.
“The patient is conscious,” said Dr AK Jain of Kailash Hospital. “ We will perform surgery after the bullet is located.”
Awasthi, a resident of Noida’s sector-36, was driving to his office in Delhi’s Kirti Nagar.
(The earlier report had erroneously mentioned Awasthi is an architect. He works as business head at a company dealing in ceramics)