A British oil executive gunned down in Brussels could have been the victim of a targeted assassination or a random mugging and car-jacking attempt, Belgian police said.
Belgian prosecutors are today investigating the murder of a British oil executive who was shot and killed in unexplained circumstances in front of his wife as they walked to their car after dinner at an Italian restaurant in Brussels.
Nicholas Mockford, who worked for U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil, was shot on October 14 after an evening meal, but prosecutors declined to say if they were investigating the case as a possible contract killing.
The restaurant where British oil executive Nicholas Mockford was killed in Brussels.
According to The Telegraph Nicholas Mockford had a long career working for ExxonMobil, joining in the 1970s:
- He was head of marketing for interim technologies for ExxonMobil Chemicals, Europe which promotes new types of greener fuel
- Mockford was brought up in Leicestershire and moved abroad from Chichester
- He also lived in Belgium and Singapore
- Married to his Belgian wife for 15 years
- Has three children living in Britain from his first marriage
– Anonymous family member, speaking to the Daily telegraph
We are all confused about what has happened. Nick was a genuinely lovely, clean-cut, mild-mannered, family man... He was shot so calmly and so quickly, it smacks horribly of a professional hit, but we can't fathom why. He isn't the type to cave in to blackmail and it just doesn't compute.
According to The Daily Telegraph police in Belgium are considering all possible motives for the shooting of a British oil executive. They include carjacking, although Nicholas Mockford's car was not stolen. In a short statement, the Foreign Office said:
We can confirm the death of a British national in Brussels on October 14 and we are providing consular assistance.
Nicholas Mockford was shot three times and his wife Mary was left beaten and covered in blood. He died on the way to hospital:
- Witnesses say they saw the couple walk across the street to their car before shots were fired
- Reports suggest two men were spotted running away from the scene
- The shooting is understood to have happened on October 14, but details have only emerged now after Belgian police imposed a news blackout
A British oil executive has been shot dead in front of his wife in Belgium in an apparent assassination-style killing. 60-year-old Nicholas Mockford worked for ExxonMobil. He was targeted as he left a restaurant in a suburb of the capital Brussels.