Report — Former NFL player Phillip Adams kills 5 in South Carolina, then himself


Report -- Former NFL player Phillip Adams kills 5 in South Carolina, then himself

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A gunman who killed five people Wednesday, including a prominent doctor in South Carolina, was former NFL pro Phillip Adams, who killed himself early Thursday, according to a source who was briefed on the investigation.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill, and that he had been treated by the doctor. The source said Phillips killed himself after midnight with a .45 caliber weapon.

Adams played as a defensive back for multiple teams including the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons after starring at South Carolina State. He also suffered multiple injuries in the NFL, including concussions and a broken left ankle.

The York County Sheriff’s Office said it had searched for hours before finding the suspect in a nearby home.

The York County coroner’s office said Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5.

A man who had been working at the home, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found shot to death outside, and a sixth person was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds,” York County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Trent Faris said.

Faris said deputies were called around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday to the Lesslies’ home in the Rock Hill area, and spent hours searching for the suspect before finding him in a nearby home.

“We have found the person we believe is responsible and we are with him at this time, and that’s all I can say about the suspect,” Faris said.

The investigation is ongoing, he said.


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