Darryl Rudolph, the father of former Cardinal Newman High School and Florida State University football star Travis Rudolph, was reportedly shot by Paul Senate of Lantana on April 21.
Rudolph, 55, was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he died the next day, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday. Senat, 36, was arrested and is being charged with manslaughter. It is unclear if he has acquired the services of an attorney.
According to the arrest report, the alleged shooting took place at Sugar Daddy’s Adult Cabaret, a strip club in West Palm Beach. Rudolph, who worked as a handyman, was changing the filter of an air-conditioning unit in the club when a stray bullet fired from an adjacent room went through the wall and struck him in the neck.
David Fiore, the owner of the strip club, told news sources that Senat owned a part of the club. He said the fatal shot that struck Rudolph was fired from a room used to store liquor. An unnamed source told the press that a rifle was kept on a shelf in the liquor storage room.
Fiore said Rudolph was fixing an air conditioner unit in his office when the rifle was fired. He was in the office talking to a colleague when a “loud sound rang out.” When he looked around the room, he saw that Rudolph was on the floor. He had someone call paramedics and attempted to perform CPR on the handyman.
When asked about the firearm, Senat reportedly told investigators that he kept it in the storage room for protection. He allegedly said that he took it from the shelf—he didn’t say why—and claimed that it fired accidentally and that he didn’t realize it had even fired at first. He didn’t know Rudolph had been shot until he went into Fiore’s office.
Rudolph was not a full-time employee of the club. He was reportedly hired by Fiore on a regular basis to perform handyman jobs. Fiore told the press that he was shocked by Rudolph’s death.
The Alcohol, Beverages, and Tobacco division of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is reportedly working with Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to investigate the case.
The press could not reach Rudolph’s family for comment, but his son’s sports agent confirmed on Monday that they had sent an email to all 32 NFL teams saying that Travis was still intent on pursuing a professional football career despite his father’s tragic death.
“Travis has spoken to his family and he has decided that he wants all 32 teams to know he’s available for any draft-related questions or any questions that any team may have for him, and he is looking ahead to the draft in light of this tragedy that has struck the Rudolph family,” the agent said in the email.
Travis has led Florida State University in receiving over the past two seasons. He is foregoing his final season to enter the NFL draft this week.