The father of NFL draft hopeful Travis Rudolph has been killed in an accidental shooting, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday.
Darryl Rudolph was shot Friday morning while working on repairs inside a nightclub in the West Palm Beach, Florida, area. Rudolph, 55, was hit in the neck/back area when a gun in an adjacent room went off accidentally. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
Travis Rudolph gained national fame at Florida State last season after a photo of him having lunch with an autistic boy went viral. At the time, Darryl Rudolph said he was “overwhelmed with joy” when he learned what his son had done for Bo Paske.
Darryl Rudolph was a youth coach himself in the South Florida area, serving as a father figure to many young boys.
“When I used to coach and help other kids with football, basketball and sports, Travis was small but he used to pay attention to what I was doing,” Darryl Rudolph said in an interview with ESPN.com last September. “I told them get your education. You can be the best athlete in the world, but without an education, you’re not going very far. That’s what Travis followed through on.”
Travis Rudolph led Florida State in receiving each of the past two seasons before declaring early for the NFL draft. ESPN rates Rudolph as a mid-Day 3 draft prospect.