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Monday 9 December 2019
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[UPDATED] He fought for his life

Choo Kong autopsy reveals

Raymond Choo Kong
Raymond Choo Kong

ONE OF the theories police are working on in investigating the murder of veteran actor and theatre producer Raymond Choo Kong is that he may have known his killer, and may have struggled with him before he was stabbed to death at his Arima home.

Police are considering this as one of the possible motives behind the 69-year-old Choo Kong's murder after an autopsy report from at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) in St James showed he was stabbed several times in the chest.

Police sources told Newsday Choo Kong had defensive wounds on his arms and hands, suggesting he fought back.

Newsday understands at about 1 pm on Monday, one of Choo Kong's relatives went to his home at Green Street, Arima, and found Choo Kong dead and covered in blood in a chair in the living room.

They called the police and Northern Division Police officers along with Region 2 Homicide officers processed the scene before Choo Kong's body was taken to the FSC.

Choo Kong, who lived in a two-storey building, had rented out the lower floor to a bar. He had two dogs, one of whom was upstairs with him when he was killed.

No alarm was raised, and people in the area heard nothing until his body was discovered on Monday afternoon.

Police sources talking to Newsday also said nothing was stolen from his home.

Meanwhile outpourings of love and condolences to Choo Kong's relatives and friends continued.

Arima mayor Lisa Morris-Julian called for the people of Arima to rally around Choo Kong's family and described him as the epitome of what an Arimian should be.

"He was the essence of Arima," said Morris-Julian. "He was one of us. He connected to the people and the town he loved his town and never left Arima – the epitome of what I would consider being a 'gens d'Arime' (Arima people). The Arima Council stands ready to assist."

At a wake held at the Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook on Monday night, fellow actor and friend Penelope Spencer described him as a fighter, but because of his physical condition and his age, he was not able to fight off an assailant.

"(Raymond) was always pushy. He wasn't ready to give in to anyone..." said Spencer "Raymond as we know Raymond now, he was walking with a cane. He was about to celebrate his 70th birthday. He couldn’t fight back and whoever did this, I really hope your soul, your soul takes care of itself brother man. Because you have real things to answer for."

Even Tobago born actor and Black Panther star Winston Duke expressed condolences over Choo Kong's passing in a Twitter post.

"Raymond changed the landscape of theatre in TT. Our theatre community has lost a friend and an icon. Rest in Paradise, Brother," he said.

Morris-Julian said a condolence book would be put in the town hall today, where Arimians and others would be able to put their thoughts and prayers in writing. When the book is filled, it will be presented to Choo Kong's family.

Minister of National Security Stuart Young yesterday said aspects of the murder of actor producer Raymond Choo Kong were “not normal.”

Communications and National Security Minister Stuart Young speaks to the media on Raymond Choo Kong's death at the opening of the Barataria Community Centre Library on Tuesday. PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI

“One of the things that struck me was there was no forced entry. Also where we found the body.” He also said that while nowadays in TT most robberies are done with a gun, Choo Kong was stabbed to death.

“So these are some of the things that don’t add up and that don’t seem to suggest that it was a normal robbery-type situation. The police are doing their investigation. I’m sure they will come to us with their expertise and tell us what is happening.”

Young offered condolences, he told reporters at the Barataria Community Library launch. “I’ve seen many of his plays in my life. He was a fabulous artist and also he touched many lives and also to his family and friends who obviously are affected. What I can assure TT is that national security doesn’t rest and we continue to put in place as many initiatives as we can including the further use of technology. Just having everyone around sharing ideas and information is making a difference.”

He said eight murders in 24 hours was unacceptable, but was confident in new measures announced by the Police Commissioner. (with reporting by Sean Douglas.)

This story was originally published with the title "Police suspect Choo Kong's murder a crime of passion" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below

AFTER an autopsy done at the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) in St James confirmed he was stabbed multiple times, sources within the police service indicated veteran actor and playwright Raymond Choo Kong could have been killed in a crime of passion.

Sources told Newsday this was one of the theories that police are working on as investigations continue, since defensive wounds were also found on his hands and forearms.

While relatives were not prepared to speak to members of the media at the FSC, Choo Kong's son, Ganesh Ramlal, told Newsday the results of the autopsy, confirming what was suspected since his body was discovered at his Arima home ­– that he was stabbed several times in his chest.

In an earlier report police said 69-year-old Choo Kong's body was found by relatives at 1 pm on Monday.

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