In what has sent shockwaves across the society, authorities have revealed that former NFL player Phillip Adams fatally shot five people including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren before later killing himself.
The York County coroner’s office said Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara, 69, were pronounced dead in their home in Rock Hill S.C., along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5.
It was also gathered that a man who had been working at the Lesslie home, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found shot to death outside.
As of the time of filing this report, a sixth victim, Robert Shook, 38, of Cherryville, North Carolina, was flown to a Charlotte hospital, where he was in critical condition “fighting hard for his life,” said a cousin, Heather Smith Thompson.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson told a news conference that investigators had not yet determined a motive in the mass shooting. “There’s nothing right now that makes sense to any of us,” Tolson said.
He, however, said evidence left at the scene of the shooting led authorities to Adams as a suspect. Tolson said they went to Adams’ parents’ home, evacuated them and then tried to talk Adams out of the house. Eventually, they found him dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in a bedroom.
The leader stated that both a .45-caliber and 9mm weapon were used in the shooting. An anonymous source reportedly told The Associated Press that Adams had been treated by Lesslie, who lived near his parents’ home. However, Tolson would not confirm that Adams had been the doctor’s patient.
Records have it that the 32-year-old Adams played in 78 NFL games over five seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State, and though he rarely started, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
Reports have it that as a rookie late in the 2010 season, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury. He never played for the 49ers again, getting released just before the 2011 season began. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three games in 2012.
In an interview with newsmen, Adams’ father blamed football for problems his son had, and which might have led him to commit the recent violence. “I can say he’s a good kid — he was a good kid, and I think the football messed him up,” Alonzo Adams told WCNC-TV.
Adams agent, Scott Casterline said even as a player, he often isolated himself. Casterline said he spoke regularly with Adams’ father.
The agent said “This is so unlike him. He had to not be in his right mind, obviously,” adding that Adams struggled away from the game.
“He had an injury his rookie year. Some teams wrote him off and he had that stigma of a guy who was hurt. His ability was better than a guy who bounced around a lot. All that weighed on him heavily”
“It was hard for him to walk away from the game, especially a guy as dedicated as he was. We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,”
“I knew he was hurting and missing football but he wouldn’t take health tips offered to him. He said he would but he wouldn’t. I felt he was lost without football, somewhat depressed”.