Details emerge in murder case against former FSU receiver Travis Rudolph

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Matt Baker, Tampa Bay Times
·2 min read
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A fight between former Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph and his girlfriend led to a shooting that left one man dead and another in critical but stable condition, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Rudolph was arrested Wednesday and is accused of first-degree murder. Initial details were scarce, but a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office probable cause affidavit, posted Thursday on the court’s website, provides this first account of the incident:

Authorities responded to a pair of 911 calls — one in West Palm Beach, another in Lake Park — shortly after midnight Wednesday morning. They found one man unresponsive in the passenger’s seat of a Cadillac and soon pronounced him dead. Another man was being taken to a nearby hospital in critical but stable condition.

One man, whose name was redacted, told authorities Rudolph’s girlfriend contacted him about a fight she had with Rudolph. A woman later confirmed to deputies that she had a physical altercation with Rudolph, 25.

Several people then drove to Rudolph’s home to confront him. Rudolph, according to an account in the affidavit, was “immediately combative and confrontational.” He and an associate then started fighting with the visitors.

Rudolph then re-entered his home and returned with a gun. As the visitors’ vehicle left, one of the passengers was hit. The car soon stopped working “due to the damage it sustained,” and one of the men was “slumped over and unresponsive,” according to the document.

Rudolph declined to speak with deputies and invoked his right to have an attorney. One person there, whose name was redacted, said the act was in self-defense.

An independent witness told authorities that he saw Rudolph — whom he knows as “The Football Player” — in a fight in the front yard. He said that he heard gun shots, then saw Rudolph return to his home with a rifle.

Rudolph faces one count of first-degree murder with a firearm and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to Palm Beach court records. He made his first court appearance Thursday morning.

Rudolph was FSU’s leading receiver from 2015-16. He later spent time with the NFL’s New York Giants and Miami Dolphins and in the CFL.

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