Robbers cut the throat of a Chinese restaurant owner in front of his wife after forcing his car off the road in Northern Ireland, sources said.
The victim, 65, was travelling home from his Co Antrim business shortly after midnight on Thursday when he was stabbed after being intercepted by two vehicles in a remote country area.
He was a well-established trader in Randalstown - running the Double Value restaurant on the town's main street - and his knife attack death has sent shockwaves through the local community, councillors said.
Police have arrested two people in connection with the murder and robbery, a woman aged 31 and a man aged 29. Both are being questioned by detectives and there is no suspicion of a hate motivation, the investigating officer said.
Local councillor Kieran McMullan said: "It sounds not just vicious but obscene."
The victim lived in Ballymoney and was driving home with his wife, 57, when they were attacked on Caddy Road.
Police Service of Northern Ireland Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan said: "I believe that their vehicle was forced off the road by two other vehicles and they were approached by a number of people.
"The couple were attacked and a sum of cash taken from them. The woman managed to leave the vicinity and raised the alarm at a nearby house."
He added: "Tragically, the man died at the scene as a result of stab wounds."
He was found dead in a ditch by the side of the road with a deep laceration to his throat, sources said.
His wife is being treated in hospital for wounds to her hands and head. Police have described her condition as not life threatening.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot said: "At this time investigations are at an early stage but I am treating this as murder."
Mr McMullan said he had seen the victims just 12 hours before the incident in a supermarket, their trolley loaded with vegetables for their business.
"To learn that less than 12 hours later the man has had his throat cut is shocking - it is an atrocity."
He said he knew him as a customer at his restaurant.
"There was never a more pleasant individual, to enter his premises and do business with."
Police appealed for anybody who saw vehicles moving along Caddy Road between 1130 last night and 1am on Thursday morning to contact them.
They also want to speak to anybody who may have seen a black Seat Toledo car OE62FRF in the Randalstown area yesterday evening.