LAKE PARK, Fla. — Those who were shot at early Wednesday said Travis Rudolph was the aggressor.
One person inside Rudolph’s Lake Park home said it was self-defense after a group of men came to “talk with” the former Florida State University football standout and ex-NFL wide receiver.
Rudolph declined to speak with police and instead invoked his right for a lawyer.
The 25-year-old arrested Wednesday one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Circuit Judge Charles Burton ordered he be held without bail during his first appearance in court Thursday. In addition, Rudolph is not allowed to contact any witnesses or the family of any witnesses.
The name of the person killed and the others who were shot at were redacted from the report after family members invoked their right to privacy under a Florida constitutional amendment – modeled on California’s Marsy’s Law – that voters approved in November 2018.
Investigators say they found shooting victims in West Palm Beach, Lake Park
During the early hours Wednesday, investigators were called to the 500 block of North Redwood Drive in Lake Park, according to Rudolph’s arrest report.
In Lake Park, investigators found one person injured and in West Palm Beach another man dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the passenger seat of a Cadillac.
Witnesses later confirmed both shootings happened in Lake Park, but the vehicle fled to West Palm Beach and didn’t realize they left people behind, according to the report.
The unidentified man who was injured in Lake Park was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in critical condition. His condition Thursday was unknown.
Witnesses allege Rudolph had a fight on Tuesday with a woman who identified herself as Rudolph’s girlfriend. Late that evening, a group of four people drove up to Rudolph’s home, got out of the black Cadillac together and knocked on his door with what they said was an intention to talk with him.
One unidentified person in the group said they were unarmed.
Instead of a conversation, both the group of people who came to Rudolph’s home and those inside his residence said a fight broke out as another unidentified person attempted to stop the altercation.
At some point, witnesses allege Rudolph went into his home, got a rifle and started shooting as the group ran back to their car in an attempt to flee. One witness said Rudolph chased down the car and continued to fire at them.
The vehicle eventually stopped near 40th Street after witnesses said the car could not drive anymore from the damage it sustained while driving away from the shooting. The extent of the damage was not indicated in the PBSO report.
Person at Rudolph’s home said the shooting was in self-defense
When investigators made their way to Rudolph’s home, he and two others in the home invoked their right to a lawyer, but one blurted out the shooting was in self-defense.
Detectives also noted several surveillance video cameras outside the residence but did not indicate if the fight and subsequent shooting was captured or if they had reviewed any video.
Investigators also spoke with a neighbor who witnessed the physical fight Rudolph had with the woman earlier in the day. The unidentified individual said within hours of that incident, the fight between the four individuals and Rudolph and those in his home took place.
Afterward, the person said they heard gunshots and then later saw Rudolph walking back into his home with a rifle.
The homicide is the 11th confirmed in Palm Beach County this year, according to a Palm Beach Post online database. It is the first homicide of the year in Lake Park, which also saw one homicide in 2020, according to records
Rudolph signed with Florida State in 2014 as a five-star recruit. He compiled more than 2,300 career receiving yards and scored 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seminoles.
After his years at Florida State, Rudolph played briefly in the NFL for the New York Giants in 2017 and was a member of the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad for a portion of the 2018 season. He later signed to play in the Canadian Football League, but his team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, released him Wednesday.