When officers arrived on the scene they found that an adult male, later confirmed by Cox as Eilers, had been shot and killed. James Robert Malec, 48, was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.
Details surrounding the incident have not yet been revealed by police, but sources close to Eilers indicate that Malec is the boyfriend of Eilers' mother. He and Eilers reportedly got into some sort of argument and Malec allegedly produced a gun and shot Eilers.
Emergency workers attempted to revive Eilers, but were unsuccessful, according to KTRV.
The incident is still under investigation by the Canyon County Sheriff's Office.
This is terrible news and my condolences to the Eilers family. Eilers was a credible professional MMA fighter who competed for a title at the highest level of the sport. While he may not carry the Couture or Liddell moniker, he was a part of the community and will be sorely missed.
This is also the second death within a week inside the MMA community. A very bruising time particularly during what is supposed to be a celebrated portion of the year.
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.