BRUSSELS — In the Belgian capital city of Brussels, an unexpected murder has authorities and speculators baffled. Was it a professional hit? A carjacking or purse snatching gone wrong? Nobody is quite sure. What is known is this: Nicholas Mockford, an executive for ExxonMobil, which made headlines recently because of a lawsuit regarding an oil spill in Yellowstone River, was gunned down in the street by an assailant outside of an Italian restaurant.
Huffington Post reports (AP),
Mockford and his wife, Mary, left Da Marcello restaurant about 10 p.m., the report said. They crossed the street toward their car, identified by news reports as a Lexus.
When they reached the car, an assailant “threatened” Mrs. Mockford, hit her several times in the face, and tried to yank her bag away, police said.
After that, it is believed that a total of four shots were fired by a second assailant, hitting Mockford in the chest, shoulder and possibly the head. The shooting occurred on October 14, but a court order of silence prevented details from reaching the media. Although the court order has been lifted and a report given to the public in order to possibly find the assailants, details are still not being provided.
The assailants, wearing motorcycle helmets, fled on foot at first but, according to police, were later spotted on a motorcycle. Although motive is yet unclear to authorities, the family seems to believe that the cold-blooded murder of the 60-year-old oil executive was a professional hit.
Mockford has worked for the company for around 40 years, and a spokesman for ExxonMobil stated that they are “shocked by the very tragic death.”
Police are not revealing whether they have any leads yet in this case, but it would seem not due to their decision to release information to the public in order to acquire more knowledge regarding the murder.