DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the third straight weekend, a local shooting has shocked the sports world. Saturday morning police found professional mixed martial arts fighter JP Cole dead in a Dallas apartment.
People unfamiliar with the world of MMA may not realize what a close community it is, but some of the fighters who trained with him said JP Cole will be missed inside and outside the ring.
At 25, Cole was a rising star in mixed martial arts with skills that impressed fellow fighters like An-Twan Williams.
“He’s such a great athlete in the cage or in the ring, just such a great athlete. You can’t even explain it, but when you see him outside of the ring or the cage, he’s just so cool,” said Williams.
Police found Cole at a Dallas apartment complex just after 7:30 Saturday morning after reports of a shooting. CBS11 sources said witnesses told police the MMA fighter was playing Russian Roulette and shot himself.
However, some evidence at the scene has raised questions about the shooting.
Williams said those who knew Cole best can’t believe he would endanger himself that way.
“They think it’s something else other than the Russian Roulette type thing. I don’t think it’s the Russian… I don’t think he would play with himself like that,” said Williams.
Cole’s death comes just as friends say he planned a whole new training regimen to prepare himself for upcoming fights.
“You know, come over and train with us, and we can get you back right. You know, and then this,” said Williams.
Investigators said the case will be classified as an unexplained death until an autopsy comes back. CBS11 sources said the death will likely be ruled accidental.
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