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Mass Shooting

NFL pro Phillip Adams is South Carolina shooting suspect who killed 5, then himself


Phillip Adams, a former NFL cornerback who played six seasons in the league with six different teams, was identified as the gunman who killed five people in South Carolina, including a prominent doctor, before turning the gun on himself.

The shooting took place in Rock Hill, South Carolina. A source close to the investigation confirmed Adams’ identity to The Associated Press on Thursday. Officials later confirmed Adams’ identity.

Adams’ parents lived near Rock Hill and the football player had been treated by the doctor at one point, the person told The AP. 

Adams, 32, last played in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. He was a seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He then played for the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.

Adams suffered multiple injuries, including concussions and a broken ankle, during his NFL career.

The York County Sheriff’s Office said early Thursday they had an identity of the suspect.

The shooting victims were identified as Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69; their two grandchildren, and James Lewis, 39, who was working at the home when he was struck by gunfire, the sheriff’s office said. Lewis was found dead outside the home. 

The grandchildren were ages 5 and 9, according to the York County Coroner’s Office. 

York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris called Dr. Lesslie “a staple” in Rock Hill for years.

“I’ve lived in Rock Hill my entire life and Dr. Lesslie was my doctor growing up,” Faris said. “Dr. Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows. He started Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill.”

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Deputies were called to a home around 4:45 p.m. following a report of a shooting involving multiple individuals. Faris said he was “shocked that this type of incident” occurred in Rock Hill.

“It doesn’t happen here. It’s one of those strange things that a lot of people are going to have a hard time understanding and we just hope that everybody understands that we’re going to do everything we can to try to figure out why this happened here,” Faris said.

An hours-long manhunt ensued following the shooting. During the search, the sheriff’s office described the suspect as “possibly armed and dangerous.” Residents were advised to stay in their homes and lock their doors.

The coroner’s office said they responded to Adams’ home and he was found dead by police after a standoff. Officials said the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Rock Hill is located 25 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina.


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