Gianni Rudolph, Taft football standout shot dead, was 'kindest, gentlest' soul, coach says

·2 min read

Gianni Rudolph was gunned down in East Price Hill on Tuesday evening. His coach and family are now mourning the loss of this cheerful and talented 19-year-old.

Cincinnati police said Rudolph was found shot in the 400 block of Purcell Avenue. According to a GoFundMe campaign started by his family to cover funeral expenses, the shooting happened right in front of his mother's house and his family was present.

He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he died. No arrests have been reported in the killing.

Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School Football Coach Jeff Cargile said Thursday that the incident has left him numb.

Cargile said Rudolph had graduated from Taft this spring. The teen was a starter for all four years of his school career after completing middle school at Western Hills University High School, Cargile said.

"In all my years at Taft, he's probably one of the best athletes I've had the pleasure of coaching," Cargile said.

As a junior, Rudolph was named Mercy's Health's Most Valuable Player after the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown against Northwest High School. In that game, he made seven catches, rushed for 221 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Cargile said that Rudolph's talent didn't stop off the field. The coach said he was a joy to be around.

"He was probably one of the kindest, gentlest souls. You couldn't be mad at him," Cargile said.

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The GoFundMe campaign states that Rudolph was a person you would only meet once in a lifetime: a son, brother, uncle and cousin.

On Facebook, Jeffrey Smith said he taught Rudolph last year.

"He was always a calm, friendly and optimistic student," Smith wrote. "This has to stop. His life had just begun."

After classes were dismissed Thursday, coach Cargile said he was headed to meet with Rudolph's mother.

"These kids are just like our own kids. No parent should have to bury their child," Cargile said. "I'm truly crushed right now."

Police are investigating the shooting. Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040.

Taft wide receiver Gianni Rudolph (9) runs for a touchdown during the Senators' win over Hughes, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.
Taft wide receiver Gianni Rudolph (9) runs for a touchdown during the Senators' win over Hughes, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Gianni Rudolph: Taft coach Jeff Cargile mourns football standout killed in shooting

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