The Editor of Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari has been shot outside his office in the press colony in Lal Chauk. "Only a few days ago he had come to meet me", an emotional Mufti said, struggling to hold back her tears.
Robert Mohoney, deputy executive director for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) described the killing as a "blatant attack on the freedom of the press".
He was accompanied by his driver and Personal Security Officer. "They were shot before they could react", Jammu and Kashmir police chief S P Vaid told NDTV.
Rising Kashmir's Deputy Editor Ishfaq Naseem later confirmed Bukhari's death.
India's interior minister Rajnath Singh called Bukhari's killing "an act of cowardice", while Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the country's main opposition Congress party, tweeted that Bukhari was "a fearless heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace".
His condition is said to be critical.
CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami said it was a "brutal" attempt by hawks to silence the messenger of peace. "Prayers and condolences for them and their families on this bad night", he said.
"Extremely shocking news", said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who broke down in front of cameras.
BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav called the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari "Reprehensible and condemnable cowardly act of the terrorists".
In a statement, he sent out its heartfelt condolences and prayers to the journalist's family, as well as, calling for the perpetrators be brought to justice.
He was well-known in Kashmir and was previously a correspondent for the Indian newspaper The Hindu.
"Shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari". He was instrumental in organising several conferences for Kashmir peace.