A gang of robbers shot dead a 38-year-old gold merchant and made away with two bags of ornaments at Bestavaripeta, 109 km from here, in Prakasam district on Thursday night.

According to the police, the assailants came on three motorcycles and opened two rounds of fire from close range at P. Narayana, killing him on the spot.

The worth of the loot was not immediately known, police added.

The gold merchant was closing his shop when he was ambushed. Superintendent of Police K.Raghuram Reddy rushed to the spot. Special teams were formed to track down the offenders. A red alert was sounded in the district.