NEDER-OVER-HEEMBEEK, Belgium, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- An ExxonMobil executive from Britain was shot and killed as he was leaving a restaurant in a Brussels suburb nearly two weeks ago, officials revealed.
Belgian police apparently imposed a news blackout on the death of 60-year-old Nicholas Mockford, who was shot in front of his wife, Mary, in Neder-over-Heembeek, a suburb of the Belgian capital, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
Mockford was shot three times and his wife was beaten. Mockford died en route to a hospital, officials said.
Witnesses said they saw the Mockfords walking to their car before the attack.
Police reports indicated witnesses saw two men running from the scene.
The Belgian prosecutor's office said Thursday a "judicial instruction" had been issued by investigating judge Martine Quintin, meaning officials could offer no "explanation" or details about the killing, the Telegraph said.
"This is usual in such a serious murder investigation," a spokesman for the prosecutor said.
One Belgian officer told the BBC the killing was a "very strange case" that had been handed over to federal investigators. In Belgium, it is common for police not to comment on open investigations, which the BBC said could be the reason why the attack was not reported until now.
Mockford worked for the oil company since the 1970s. He was the head of marketing for interim technologies for ExxonMobil Chemicals in Europe, promoting new types of greener fuel.
"We are shocked by the tragic death of one of our employees on [Oct. 14] in Brussels," ExxonMobil said in a statement. "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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