South African police officer arrested following female boxing champ's murder

A police officer was arrested after a South African female boxing champion was fatally shot during a car chase in a coastal city, according to local reports.

Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels, 25, who was expected to return to the ring in October for a junior bantamweight clash, was murdered Friday afternoon in Mdantsane, while her mother was also shot but survived, the BBC reported.

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The suspect, 37, arrested was thought to be Jegels' current or former boyfriend and a member of the South African Police Service.

A police spokesman told local media the motive appeared to be a "domestic dispute" between "the couple."

"It is alleged that an off-duty policeman based at TRT (Tactical Response Team) East London fired several shots at his girlfriend who died instantly on the scene," said police spokesman Sontaga Seisa. "The same policeman fired shots to his girlfriend's mother and injured her."

Jegels, who is also a karate champion, met with her boxing club manager hours before her death and was "excited" to get back in the ring.

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“I had breakfast with her and we discussed what needed to be done to stage her dramatic return,” Mla Tengimfene told The South African. “She was excited and looking forward to her ring return. She had been out of the ring for a while and this new venture excited her.”

South Africa's Department of Arts & Culture condemned the murder as an "act of cowardice."

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The suspect is due in court Monday as an investigation is still ongoing.