British Oil Executive Shot Dead in Brussels
A senior British oil executive has been shot dead in a suburb of the Belgian capital Brussels, but it is still an open question whether the attack was work related.
Nicholas Mockford, 60, who worked for Exxon Mobil, was attacked on 14 October as he left a restaurant with his wife, located in Neder-Over-Heembeek, northern Brussels.
Initially the news also reported locally only.
"I heard a noise, 'tack tack', I thought that was bizarre and went outside to look," an eyewitness told Flemish television channel, VTM, as cited by BBC.
"There was a woman lying on the floor on the pavement on the other side of the road. She was crying 'help, help'. There was also a man lying on the street, next to a car. [The] woman shouts out it was a white van."
"I reanimated him, he regained consciousness and then he became unconscious again. I reanimated him a second time and then the ambulance arrived.
"Only then did neighbors realize the man had been shot."
Mockford was shot in his chest and shoulder and also had blood on his head. Police later found four bullet cases outside the restaurant.
Judging by witnesses' accounts, police said it appeared that two attackers - wearing crash helmets - tried to grab Mrs Mockford's handbag, and then slapped her in the face.
One of the attackers then fired four shots at Mockford.
An Exxon Mobil spokesman said Mockford was a department manager at the company's office close to Brussels.
He said there was no indication that the incident was work related.
"We are shocked by the tragic death of one of our employees," the spokesman said.
"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues and we are supporting them as best we can at this very difficult time."
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