One of Travis Rudolph’s former teammates has spoken out after the 25-year-old was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.
"Obviously, these are serious allegations, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty," Andrew Owers, who played on the varsity football and basketball teams at Cardinal Newman High School from 2012-2015 said, according to WPTV.
"From what I knew, he was a phenomenal person," Owers added.
A double shooting was reported early on Wednesday, April 7, in the Palm Beach area; one man was found dead and another was found with shot wounds and taken to a nearby hospital, as previously reported by OK!.
Rudolph is being held without bond and is expected to appear in court on Thursday, April 8, but it is not known if he has an attorney yet.
In light of the arrest, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers confirmed that they released Rudolph as their receiver.
The former Florida State wide receiver gained acclaim in 2016 when he ate lunch with a lone autistic student during a team visit to a Tallahassee middle school. "I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten," the student's mother, Leah Paske, gushed in a Facebook post at the time.
"This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes."
Rudolph’s NFL career came to a halt when he tore his ACL while he was a member of the Miami Dolphins practice squad. He previously appeared in the NFL Draft in 2016, and while he was not selected, he signed with the New York Giants as a free agent. He played a season with the Giants in 2017 before he was cut in 2018 after catching eight passes for 101 yards before he briefly joined the Dolphins, but did not make it past the practice squad; they released him in 2019.
Rudolph's father, Darryl Rudolph, was killed in an accidental shooting in 2017.