For Umesh Kumar Pandey, it was another night spent at work. He was seated in booth number 11 at the toll plaza in Kheri Daula at 12.30 am, when a car pulled up.
Soon, an argument broke out between him and the occupants of the car. Moments later, the 22-year-old toll attendant was dead. He had been shot at close range with the bullet piercing his neck. The shocking murder was captured by the CCTV camera which showed Mr Pandey grabbing his neck and then collapsing to the ground.
The trigger for the horrific, brazen killing - according to initial reports - seems to be over paying of Rs 27 as toll tax - the standard amount needed for cars entering or leaving Gurgaon. The Keri Daula toll booth is located just a kilometre away from the nearest Haldiram's restaurant, at the border with Manesar.
As the National Capital Region still comes to terms with this shocking episode, toll collectors say that threats over non-payment of toll tax are not new, especially from locals from the surrounding villages.
Police say that nearly 20 villages in the area are exempted from paying toll tax. According to the system evolved, all the drivers need to show is their ID card to establish that they live nearby and they are allowed to pass through without any charge.
The locals have been asking for this toll plaza to be shifted back by 6 km towards Manesar as more high rises have come up after toll. The local MP has taken this up with National Highways Authority of India.
The police believe that Mr Pandey never collected the toll amount from the attacker in the car - in this case, a Bolero.
"In the video footage, we have noticed that the travellers in the car did show their card, driving licence. Umesh Kumar, the attendant, closed the toll window, asking them to leave but they refused. To check again, he opened the window and then only he was shot at", Maheshwar Dayal, DCP, East and South Gurgaon said.
The police have now launched a massive manhunt to track down the accused. The vehicle's registration number and identity of the attackers is still not known.