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Investigators rule out hate crime in death of Orthodox Jewish MMA fighter Aaron Rajman

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-05 17:48:48-04

Homicide detectives do not believe the murder of the only Orthodox Jewish Mixed Martial Arts fighter in the nation was a hate crime. But those same detectives remain tight-lipped about their search for the shooter.

At the same time, Aaron Rajman's family and friends are busy preparing for his funeral Thursday at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens.

Travis Taylor wore a shirt with the words “valor, loyalty and strength” printed on it while he talked about his friend.

He said those qualities appropriately describe Rajman.

“You can’t replace that kind of character. You can only strive to be like it,” Taylor said.

But the fellow MMA fighter will remember Rajman most for his motivation. Taylor admitted Rajman encouraged him to become a professional fighter.

“That’s just him, honestly,” Taylor said. “He was always the motivation person.”

That source of motivation was shot in a home west of Boca Raton Monday night. The sheriff’s office says the public is not in danger even though deputies haven’t arrested anyone.

Rajman was one of the only Orthodox Jews fighting professionally in the country. He was also a source of inspiration to his friend Ben Barel who attended a Jewish elementary school with Rajman in Boca Raton.

Barel shared a video of Rajman’s pre-fight routine on Facebook. He said Rajman prayed as he entered the “cage” while songs by Jewish singer Matisyahu blasted from the speakers.

“I never felt more connected to the religion and the most powerful thing about that was I was not in a Jewish setting,” Barel remembered.

Despite the fighter’s mentality, Rajman’s friends all remark on his caring, dedicated personality.

“If you went to anyone of his friends they would say the same things I am,” Barel explained. “That he’s a kind-hearted man and tries to find good in every situation.”

Now Rajman’s community is fighting for justice; asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).