Former New York Giants wide receiver Travis Rudolph is a free man after being found not guilty on one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder following a 2021 shooting that left Sebastien Jean-Jacques dead.
The terrifying ordeal played out after Rudolph and his then-girlfriend, Dominique Jones, got into an argument that became physical. She allegedly struck him in the head with a tequila bottle and then text her brother, Keishaun, and told him to “shoot up” Rudolph’s house.
Four men arrived and the situation quickly turned violent. Fearing for his life and the life of his brother, Rudolph retrieved a rifle from his home and opened fire on his assailants, several of whom had firearms and had allegedly aimed them at the ex-Giants receiver.
Based on all the evidence presented at trial, a jury determined that Rudolph had acted in self-defense, which was his stance all along.
For the first time since being found not guilty, Rudolph sat with former Giants safety Ryan Clark to discuss the incident and its aftermath.
“I mean, honestly, I’m at peace with everything. And I even pray. I even prayed on Sebastian, I pray on Sebastian and his family. And I just like, like, I’m at peace with it all. Like, it’s just it’s an unfortunate situation like,” Rudolph told The Pivot. “I mean, to this day, like it’s like a blur to me like, like, I never thought in a million years that I would ever have to kill anyone.”
Police say Rudolph fired 39 times during the exchange. It’s a number he didn’t realize until he was made aware of it after the fact.
“I didn’t realize I shot that many times,” Rudolph said. “When you are in that moment and adrenaline is going on, you are not thinking about how many times you shot. You are just trying to eliminate the threat.”
Although Rudolph is at peace with himself, he remains concerned and emotional over the impact it’s had on his mother.
“I really felt like she made an emotional decision,” Rudolph said of Dominique Jones. “I know in my heart that she regrets it. I know that. (But) I can’t forgive her to the point that… Not only about the dude that died and his family shedding tears but it’s my Mom. It’s my Mom.
“I know my Momma couldn’t sleep. Every time I talked to her on that jail call… 15 minutes. I know it. First time I saw her after being in a year, video calls… It’s just like, Dominique I don’t forgive her but I prayed on that, too.”
During his time in jail, Rudolph’s family continued to endure unrelated trauma. His nephew died in a car accident, which Rudolph said was his most difficult time behind bars. He broke down while discussing it.
The impact of that single text caused heartache for many families that will never fade. So many lost so much.
You can watch the full Rudolph interview at The Pivot Podcast on YouTube.
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