Cathedral City police Friday said the recent death of a beloved local Jiu-Jitsu instructor was the result of a shooting.

Officers were dispatched at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to the 31300 block of Whispering Palms Trail, where 47-year-old Cathedral City resident Ramon Diaz was found “suffering from trauma to the body,” according to Cathedral City Police Department officials on Thursday.

He later died at a hospital, but police initially only described him as “a possible assault victim” suffering from trauma.

Diaz, whose death led to condolences pouring out from the local martial arts community, was an instructor at Palm Springs Jiu Jitsu on Gene Autry Trail.

Coachella Valley Judo & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Palm Desert released a statement online which read “We are shocked and saddened by the passing of Palm Springs Jiu Jitsu’s Professor Ramon. We send our deepest condolences … RIP Ramon.”

UFC fighter and Palm Springs native Cub Swanson tweeted “RIP to the Amazing Man who introduced me to BJJ and MMA. Ramon Diaz was my first instructor & I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Family members are trying to raise $10,000 for Diaz’s funeral costs.

“He always encouraged people to be a better version of themselves and enjoyed life,” a GoFundMe page created Thursday read. “He was an important person to the Jiu-Jitsu community, a husband, family man, instructor, overall someone very important and impactful to many people.”

To contribute to Diaz’s funeral costs, visit

Cathedral City police did not have a suspect description available Friday, but said that Cathedral City detectives and forensic specialists from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department have collected evidence that is currently being analyzed.

Anyone with information was asked to contact detective Barkley or Sgt. Sanchez at (760) 202-2488.

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