10/26/2012 05:30 EDT | Updated 12/26/2012 05:12 EST

Nicholas Mockford, ExxonMobil Exec, Shot Dead In Front Of Wife On Brussels Street

BRUSSELS - Belgian authorities are seeking the public's help in solving the killing of an executive for ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, who was shot to death in front of his wife nearly two weeks ago on a street in a suburb of the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Nicholas Mockford, a British national, was shot on Oct. 14 as he left an Italian restaurant in Neder-over-Heembeek. Belgian authorities declined to provide information on the crime at the time, which they said was common in investigations of serious crimes, although a Dutch-language television station aired a report the day after the shooting.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil said Friday that the company was "shocked by the very tragic death." Mockford had a long career with ExxonMobil, the spokesman said.

A Belgian police report made public Thursday said Mockford and his wife, Mary, were walking toward their car when a man threatened Mrs. Mockford, hit her in the face several times, and tried to grab her purse. Suddenly, a second man appeared and fired four shots at Mockford, who died on the spot, the report said. The assailants, who were wearing motorcycle helmets, initially escaped on foot but were later seen on a motorcycle, according to the report.

Shortly before the attack, a white van crossed the couple's path. Investigators are asking the driver of the van to come forward.

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