Authorities are still searching for a motive after they say former NFL player Phillip Adams went to the home of Dr. Robert Lesslie of Rock Hill, South Carolina, on Wednesday, fatally shooting the physician along with the doctor’s wife, two of their grandchildren, and an HVAC technician who was working at the couple’s home.
Another repairman was also shot in the attack and is currently hospitalized.
Adams, 32, then took his own life as law enforcement sought to coax him out of his father’s home during a standoff the next day, authorities said.
What are the details?
“There’s nothing right now that makes sense to us,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said at a news conference Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
The outlet reported:
Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara, 69, were pronounced dead in their home in Rock Hill along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, the York County coroner’s office said.
A man who had been working at the Lesslie home, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found shot to death outside. 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.
Lesslie and his wife were married for at least 35 years.
The Washington Post reported that the York County Sheriff’s Office confirmed “that the gunman was Phillip Adams, a former NFL player who killed himself early Thursday after an hours-long search by police.” The York County coroner said Adams, who was from Rock Hill, died of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Adams’ father, Alonzo Adams, told local outlet WCNC-TV of his son, “I can say he’s a good kid. I think the football messed him up.”
“I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm,” Alonzo Adams told the station, adding that he knew the Lesslie family. “All I can say is we pray for the family. He used to be my doctor a long time ago. I know they were good folks down there. We’re gonna keep them in our prayers.”
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told WBTV-TV in the aftermath, that his understanding from law enforcement was that Dr. Lesslie was treating Adams, and “stopped giving him medicine, and that’s what triggered the killings.”
NEW: @RepRalphNorman tells me his understanding is that Dr. Robert Lesslie was treating Phillip Adams and had stopp… https://t.co/43j0s4JdyY
— Alex Giles WBTV (@Alex Giles WBTV)1617904665.0
Fox News reported that Adams played six seasons in the NFL for six different teams.
The outlet noted that Adams “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.”