Sad news to report from the fighting world, as they’re reacting to the death of Justin Eilers in what appears to have been a domestic disturbance gone wrong over the holiday season.

An autopsy conducted Friday released the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the chest. The bullet reportedly punctured Eilers’ lung before exiting his body, said Monte Cox, Eiler’s longtime manager.

Cox said Eilers had gathered with relatives for the holidays, but tensions escalated with an ex-girlfriend, also in attendance. Eilers was asked to leave the residence, but was said to have refused and began throwing dishes and other objects in protest. The home’s owner was then said to have pulled a gun on Eilers and shot him in the chest after a brief verbal confrontation.

Eilers’ ex-girlfriend, mother, and young son were said to have been in the room at the time of the shooting.

The Canyon County (ID) sheriff’s department arrested James Robert Malec, who may be Eilers’ mother’s boyfriend on second-degree murder charges. Eilers moved between WEC, UFC, and EliteXC in his fighting career after playing football in college. His death is the third tragedy to hit MMA in the past few months. Justin Levens was found dead along with his girlfriend in an apparent murder-suicide last week and Evan Tanner disappeared in the desert back in September.

Eilers Shot Dead [Sherdog]

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