NFL player who went viral over kind gesture now accused of opening fire on a group killing one

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Source: CBS/YouTube; Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Apr. 7 2021, Published 2:45 p.m. ET

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 A former NFL player who went viral over a kind gesture is now accused of murder in Florida. 

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Travis Rudolph, 25, was charged by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, among other charges. The charges were announced on April 7. 

Deputies responded to a Palm Beach area park shortly after midnight for a double shooting, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. 

One man was dead and another was shot, according to the sheriff’s office. The injured man was taken to the hospital. 

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Police say four people were shot at, or shot by, Rudolph. Two people were not hurt in the gunfire. 

Rudolph played college football at Florida State University and then played for the New York Giants until 2018. He is currently a free agent. 

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Rudolph garnered viral attention in 2016 when a video of him having lunch with an autistic boy was shared on social media. The wide receiver and some of his Florida State teammates visited a middle school when Rudolph saw a boy eating along, according to media reports.

Rudolph sat down with the boy and joined him for lunch. 

“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 boy’s mother wrote on Facebook. 

“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.”

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