A 34-year-old woman travelling in a car with her two-year-old son and husband was shot dead by a gangster who apparently wanted to kill the man for not returning a loan he had taken but ended up murdering his wife after a scuffle.

Priya Mehra was shot twice from close range, one bullet piercing her cheek and another her neck, at around 4.15 a.m. at Shalimar Bagh in west Delhi, Deputy Commissioner of Police Milind Mahadeo Dumbere told IANS.

The Mehras were returning to their home in Rohini from Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in the heart of the capital when the killers in another car overtook their car and blocked its way.

One of them broke the window glass of the driver’s seat with a revolver and ordered Pankaj Mehra to step out, family members told IANS. Instead of getting out, Pankaj Mehra gripped the weapon.

The gangster then opened fire but the bullet missed Pankaj Mehra and instead hit his wife. The killer fired once more and again hit her. “After that the gun got stuck,” Pankaj Mehra’s nephew Ankit Mehra, 26, told IANS.

As the assailants tried to get another gun, Pankaj Mehra managed to start the car and escape from the area. As he drove, he called the police to say he was headed to the Saroj Hospital at Madhuban Chowk.

A profusely bleeding Priya Mehra was reportedly alive when she reached the hospital. “She was blinking her eyes,” Pankaj Mehra’s sister Sabeena told IANS, adding that the doctors did not provide her even first aid.

The young woman died half hour later.

Dumbere quoted Pankaj Mehra as saying that a man from whom he had borrowed money but was unable to pay back was behind the murder. There were four men in the car which blocked their vehicle.

Family members said Pankaj Mehra, who used to run a bar at Paharganj, had borrowed Rs 5 lakh from a moneylender, Monu, who had on Monday threatened to kill him. The bar was shut a month ago after incurring huge debts.

“Monu knew my uncle (Pankaj) won’t be able to pay back the money. As Monu didn’t know his house, on Monday he went to my uncle’s sister’s house and said that they would find Pankaj and kill him,” Ankit Mehra said.

The anguished family complained that police did not reach the hospital even after they had reached there.

“If the hospital and police had acted fast, Priya could have been saved,” Ankit Mehra said.

“The police was in confusion over who should respond to the call as the exact spot of firing was not known. When I reached the hospital, police were not there,” he said.

Saroj Hospital declined to comment on the alleged delay in providing medical aid to the dying woman.

Deputy Commissioner Dumbere said that if there was a complaint from the family, “we’ll look into both the issues”.