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Former Florida State star Travis Rudolph accused of murder

Former Florida State and Cardinal Newman High School football star Travis Rudolph has been arrested on a murder charge.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former Florida State and Cardinal Newman High School football star Travis Rudolph has been arrested on a murder charge.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said Rudolph was arrested early Wednesday after a double shooting in Lake Park.

Barbera said an altercation in the 500 block of North Redwood Drive led to the shooting, which left one person dead and another wounded.

Rudolph, 25, was a star wide receiver at Cardinal Newman who went on to play for Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. He hauled in 153 catches for 2,311 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seminoles from 2014-16.

Florida State Seminoles receiver Travis Rudolph vs. Florida Gators in 2016
Mark Wallheiser/AP
Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph runs past the Florida defense on a 46-yard touchdown reception during the second half Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State defeated Florida 31-13.

The West Palm Beach native left school early to declare for the NFL Draft. Although he wasn't drafted, Rudolph signed with the New York Giants in 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.

Rudolph was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2018 but tore an ACL on his first day of workouts and never played in the NFL again.

He signed with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers last year. The Blue Bombers released Rudolph after learning of his arrest.

The team has released receiver Travis Rudolph.

— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) April 7, 2021

Barbera said Rudolph faces one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. She said one of the victims remains in a hospital, while two others were shot at but weren't injured.

The arrest is a surprising turn of events for a football player who, up to this point, had avoided trouble with the law.

Rudolph made headlines while at FSU in 2016 when, during a team visit to a Tallahassee elementary school, he decided to sit with a boy who was eating alone at a lunch table. It turned out that the boy, Bo Paske, had autism.

The moment was captured in a photograph that Bo's mother shared on Facebook, along with a heartfelt message that quickly went viral.

Florida State's Travis Rudolph eats lunch with boy with autism

Tragedy struck Rudolph in April 2017 when, while preparing for the NFL Draft, his father was fatally shot in the neck with an AK-47 assault rifle at what was then known as Sugar Daddy's Cabaret in West Palm Beach.

Paul Senat, who co-owned the club, told detectives that he was in the office with Darryl Rudolph and co-owner David Fiore, but left to move the rifle, which was kept on a shelf in an adjacent liquor room. Senat said he grabbed the gun and it discharged, firing a single shot that went through the wall and struck the 55-year-old victim.

Senat was arrested on a manslaughter charge in connection with the fatal shooting of Darryl Rudolph, but Senat later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of culpable negligence and was sentenced to two days in jail, receiving credit for time already served. He has since been convicted on unrelated federal charges and was sentenced in 2020 to more than seven years in prison.

Travis Rudolph was being held without bond at the main Palm Beach County jail. He was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Thursday.

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