MOSCOW – The American editor of Forbes Magazine's Russian edition and author of a book about tycoon Boris Berezovsky (search) was shot to death late Friday, the magazine said.
Paul Klebnikov (search), 41, was hit four times outside the magazine's office and died in a rescue-squad vehicle, Russian news reports said. The radio station Ekho Moskvy said shells of two different caliber were found at the scene, indicating at least two assailants.
Police could not be reached for comment, but the killing was confirmed in a statement by Forbes publisher Steve Forbes.
"Paul was a superb reporter -- courageous, dedicated, ever-curious," the statement said. "He knew Russia well. It was a country he deeply loved."
Alexander Gordeyev, editor of the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine, which has offices in the same building, said he came to Klebnikov's side as he lay outside the building.
He was still conscious and able to speak, "but he couldn't say anything about what could have been the cause of the attack," Gordeyev told The Associated Press.
The Interfax news agency quoted Leonid Bershidsky, the publisher of Russian Forbes (search) and Newsweek, as saying that Klebnikov recently "had not dug up anything sensitive."
Forbes started its Russian-language edition in April. Klebnikov, U.S.-born of Russian heritage, previously had been a senior editor with the U.S.-based Forbes.
In a statement late Friday, Klebnikov's family said it expected Russia to bring the assailants to justice, and urged "U.S. and international authorities" to make sure that happens.
"Paul was a fighter for the truth," the statement said. "Even more, he believed in being positive and looking for ways to make the future better. We mourn his death."
In May, Forbes attracted wide attention by publishing a list of Russia's wealthiest people, claiming that Moscow had more billionaires who worked there or amassed their fortunes there than any other city in the world.
"Here people fly and fall with staggering speed," Klebnikov said at a news conference when the list was released.
His 2000 book "Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the Looting of Russia" described how Berezovsky, now living in exile in Britain, allegedly siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars out of Russia.
After Klebnikov wrote a profile of Berezovsky for Forbes in 1996, Berezovsky filed a libel suit against the magazine in Britain.
He withdrew the suit in 2003 after the publication acknowledged it was wrong to allege he was involved in the murder of a television personality.
Klebnikov in May said that he believed the chaotic post-Soviet years, when business disputes were often settled by gunfire and car bombs, were a thing of the past.
"The era of so called bandit-capitalism is already in the past. In the mid-90's it was a very, very dirty process ... I think the participants of our list themselves are pleased to leave this era behind," he said.
Klebnikov was a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the London School of Economics.