An Orthodox Jewish mixed martial arts fighter and member of the American Top Team was shot dead during a home invasion Monday night in Boca Raton, Florida, police said.
Aaron Rajman, 25, was killed during an argument with several men who entered the home in the Sandalfoot Cove neighborhood and fired at least one shot at him, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects then fled the scene.
“It’s a tragedy and extremely painful for [the family]. Painful for everyone who knew him,” said Rabbi Zalman Bukiet, co-director of Chabad of West Boca Raton.
Rajman was born in the Bronx, New York, and lived in Boca Raton with his mother and siblings. He made his professional MMA debut in April 2014 and had a 2-2 record, according to the SunSentinel. He was 8-1 as an amateur before that.
Rajman is the only Orthodox Jewish fighter in the country, and was believed to be one of the few Orthodox Jews in all of the sport. Known for entering the ring in a yarmulka and tzitzis, those who knew him said his faith played an important role in his life.
Bukiet, Rajman's Rabbi at Chabad of Boca Raton, said the fighter was a servant to his community.
“He was a very good person,” said Bukiet. “Extremely good-hearted person and it’s extremely sad for everybody, extremely sad. As I said, we’ll give the family privacy. They’re really in shock and in pain.”
Detectives are investigation the shooting. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay funeral cost and other expenses.
"Aaron was just such a gentle and giving soul. He's a good person," said Bukiet's wife, Chani. "He was always ready to help and give back to the community. If we had an event here he would come and do activities with the kids."
Police are urging the public to contact the Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers with any information. The number for Crime Stoppers in Palm Beach is 1-800-458-TIPS.