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Video: Fmr. pro wrestler security guard stops mass shooter in devil mask at FL club

Crime scene tape and police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
March 24, 2023

A professional wrestler turned security guard recently appeared to stop a mass shooting just as it was about to begin at a strip club in Tampa, Florida, in a high-stakes fight captured on surveillance footage.

Michael Rudman, 44, was arrested Sunday after attempting to charge into the Mons Venus club carrying a handgun and flashlight while wearing a red-and-black devil mask with the words “kill” and “darkk one” written on his arms, the Tampa Police Department said in a statement.

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A security guard near the door prevented Rudman from entering and fought with him before being helped by two other men. Footage of the incident released by police shows the dramatic encounter unfolding over the course of less than 50 seconds.

“There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts, and I am thankful that our officers were able to take this individual into custody before he had the chance to carry out whatever he had planned,” said Interim Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw. 

“We will continue to actively and thoroughly investigate this case to get a better understanding of what led up to this thwarted incident.”

Police stated that while no one was injured inside the club, one round from Rudman’s gun struck the front door.

The initial security guard who kept Rudman from entering the club, 55-year-old Manuel Resto, said he is a former professional wrestler and thought at first that he was being pranked, FOX 13 reported.

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“I thought it was one of my friends playing a trick on me, and he didn’t say a word,” Resto said, adding that once the fight started, “What I wanted to do was get him on the ground and get the gun away from him.”

Officers found more ammunition, knives, and gun accessories in Rudman’s truck, as well as two fully loaded magazines in one of his pockets, according to the press release. 

Police said Rudman is now facing multiple criminal charges: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; battery; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; and purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm while under a risk protection order.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office had served Rudman a risk protection order last year under Florida’s version of what is known as a “red flag law,” which allows firearms to be temporarily seized from people if they pose a danger to themselves or others.