Arimians were shocked and disbelieving on Monday when news travelled swiftly that beloved actor/playwright Raymond Choo Kong had been killed at his home on Green Street, Arima.
Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julian was distraught when contacted on Monday.
"Raymond was always so very good to us that is why it is so very hard for us. He was an icon to TT, but he belonged to us in Arima. He was or son, an actor, a playwright, a scout, and when he saw potential in you, he let you know.
"His family was one of the founding families of Arima. Arima is a place exemplified by our anthem, 'every creed and race find an equal place.'
"Raymond was always someone we looked up to for his creativity, kindness and love for people. I cannot tell you the last time I felt like this. I was totally blind-sided."
Arima MP Anthony Garcia said Choo Kong was a contributing member to the Arima community, and he and his family were known through their works in aiding to build and shape Arima.
"As investigations are underway and continuing into his tragic death, I pray that the Choo Kong family, the theatre fraternity throughout TT and all who would have been impacted by Raymond in any major or minor way, can find a morsel of solace in knowing that he lived a full life. How he left this earth will be at the forefront of our minds at this time, but we must cherish and honour his memory by keeping all the good that he did alive."
Businessman Raj Jadoo said citizens had to be wary about what was happening in the country, not only in Arima, because crime had taken over the whole country.
"They (criminals) are so bold now they are no longer hiding their faces. My concern is that these criminals have more rights than law-abiding citizens.
Arima Discount Mart owner Balliram Maharaj described Choo Kong as a very good friend with whom he enjoyed a good game of tennis. He said Choo Kong's murder had come as an absolute shock to him, and had really hit close to home.
"His family came from humble beginnings. His father opened the first laundry in Arima. He did some of our ads. I am at loss for words. Arima has lost an icon. He will always be remembered for his humour. May his soul rest in peace and my heartfelt condolences to his family.
Friends of Arima Hospital's Roger Belix questioned how low could we go as a country.
"It was a real shocker when I was told about Raymond's death. He was an innovator, and he cannot be replaced in the preforming arts. I don't know who will be able to replace his talent and expertise."
Carib chief Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez said Choo Kong's death was a sad thing.
"I cannot understand what is happening in this country, the rate of killings and murders in the country are getting worse."