The community of Rock Hill, South Carolina, faced the death of five people in a mass shooting committed by a native son and former NFL player, Phillip Adams, who then killed himself.
On Wednesday at approximately 4:45pm, Adams, 32, forced his way into the home of Dr. Robert Lesslie after shooting two air conditioning workers outside the house. Inside the home he killed Lesslie, 70; Lesslie’s wife Barbara, 69; and two of their grandchildren Adah, 9, and Noah, 5.
James Lewis, 38, an air conditioning technician with GSM Services of Gastonia, NC, was killed. Robert Shook, another technician, was injured and remains in serious condition, Tolson said. Shook’s daughter reported on Facebook Thursday night that her father was in intensive care on a ventilator following surgery.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said that something that was left at the Lesslie home led them to believe Adams was the shooter. They went to the Adams family nearby home, removed the parents and tried to contact the suspect, whom they later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
When asked whether Adams, who played in the NFL from 2010 to 2015, was a patient of the doctor, Tolson said: “We have not been able to verify that.”
Adams used two handguns, a 9 mm and a .45 caliber, in the shootings, Tolson said.
Adams played as a defensive back from 2010 to 2015 for teams including the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons.
During the 2012 NFL season with the Raiders, he suffered two concussions over a three-game stretch, which, combined with a groin injury, eventually ended his season. He also had a gruesome broken left ankle in 2010.
Adams has had earlier run-ins with authorities. He was charged in Mecklenburg County in 2016 with carrying a concealed gun. That charge was dismissed.
On Tuesday, Adams was convicted of several York County traffic charges, including driving under suspension and failure to maintain proof of insurance, S.C. records show.
Adams’ father “thinks football messed him up.”