By Leigh MilnerBBC Look East, Leigh-on-Sea
Image caption, The community has been left stunned by the events of the past few hours
Residents choked back tears as they spilled on to the streets of Leigh-on Sea after the killing of their MP Sir David Amess.
He was “so kind to everyone” said Rofique Ali, a local Conservative Party member, who described the MP as his best friend in the world.
“I have known him for many years, and he was so kind to everyone,” he said.
“I can’t forget David.”
Image caption, Choking back tears, Rofique Ali said Sir David was kind to everyone
Sir David, who was meeting constituents at his surgery, had been an MP in Essex for almost 40 years, and theirs since 1997.
The 69-year-old was stabbed multiple times in Belfairs Methodist Church: a man was arrested on suspicion of murder and a knife recovered from the scene.
News filtered through the neighbourhood that Sir David had been killed in their church and on their street.
It’s a quiet road in this picturesque seaside town and now a police cordon surrounds the building, police cars line the street and the church doorway flanked by armed officer.
The community has been left stunned by the events of the past few hours and people have come forward to pay tribute to his work as a local MP, at pains to emphasise that he was a kind man.
Stephen Aylen, who was a local councillor for 25 years, said: “He was very involved, a proper MP.
“For this to happen, what can I say?”
Image caption, Kevin Buck said the world had lost a decent person
Kevin Buck, a Conservative Southend councillor, who worked with Sir David for 10 years, said he was “shocked and numb”.
“I just can’t believe he was with us here this morning, and not here now.
“He was a remarkable MP because he was a remarkable man – kind, compassionate and caring.”
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