Ex-NFL participant Adams kills 5 in SC, then himself


ROCK HILL, S.C. — Former NFL participant Phillip Adams fatally shot 5 folks, together with a outstanding physician, his spouse and their two grandchildren, earlier than later killing himself, authorities mentioned Thursday.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson advised a information convention Thursday that investigators had not but decided a motive within the mass capturing Wednesday.

“There’s nothing proper now that is smart to any of us,” Tolson mentioned.

Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his spouse, Barbara, 69, have been pronounced useless on the scene Wednesday, together with their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5.

A person who had been working on the residence, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was discovered shot to dying outdoors. A sixth sufferer, Robert Shook, 38, of Cherryville, North Carolina, was flown to a Charlotte hospital, the place he was in important situation “combating exhausting for his life,” mentioned a cousin, Heather Smith Thompson.

At Thursday’s information convention, Tolson performed audio of two 911 calls associated to the capturing, the primary from an HVAC firm that employed Lewis and the opposite particular person doing work on the Lesslie residence. One in every of them, the caller mentioned, had referred to as him “screaming” and saying that he had been shot and that his co-worker was shot and “unresponsive.”

“I feel there’s been a foul capturing,” a distinct man mentioned in a second 911 name, saying he was outdoors chopping his grass and heard “about 20” photographs fired on the Lesslie residence earlier than seeing somebody depart the home.

Tolson mentioned proof left on the scene of the capturing led them to Adams as a suspect. He mentioned they went to Adams’ dad and mom’ residence, evacuated them after which tried to speak Adams out of the home. Finally, they discovered him useless of a single gunshot wound to the pinnacle in a bed room, he mentioned. Adams was 32.

Tolson mentioned each a .45 and a 9mm handgun have been utilized in Wednesday’s capturing.

Adams had handled by Lesslie, who lived close to his dad and mom’ residence in Rock Hill, in accordance with an individual who was briefed concerning the investigation and who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he wasn’t licensed to talk publicly.

Nevertheless, Tolson wouldn’t verify that Adams had been the physician’s affected person.

Lesslie had labored for many years as an emergency room physician, board-certified in each emergency drugs and occupational drugs and serving as emergency division medical director for almost 15 years at Rock Hill Common Hospital, in accordance with his web site.

A biography web page mentioned he and his spouse raised 4 kids and have been actively concerned with their church, in addition to with Camp Pleasure, which works with kids with disabilities, and the place Lesslie served as camp doctor for every week every summer season. On Thursday, Tolson mentioned the household had requested that any memorials be made to the group.

Adams performed in 78 NFL video games over 5 seasons for six groups. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick of South Carolina State, and although he hardly ever began, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the Jets earlier than ending his profession with the Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie late within the 2010 season, Adams suffered a extreme ankle harm that required surgical procedure that included a number of screws being inserted into the leg. He by no means performed for the 49ers once more, getting launched simply earlier than the 2011 season started. Later, with the Raiders, he had 2 concussions over 3 video games in 2012.

Whether or not he suffered long-lasting concussion-related accidents wasn’t instantly clear. Adams wouldn’t have been eligible for testing as a part of a broad settlement between the league and its former gamers over such accidents, as a result of he hadn’t retired by 2014.

Adams’ father advised a Charlotte tv station that he blamed soccer for issues which will have led his son to commit Wednesday’s violence.

“I can say he is a great child — he was a great child, and I feel the soccer messed him up,” Alonzo Adams advised WCNC-TV. “He did not discuss a lot and he did not hassle no one.”

Deputies have been referred to as round 4:45 p.m. Wednesday to the Lesslies’ residence, which is much up a driveway from an arched stone gate, and never seen from the street. They evacuated the neighbors as they spent hours looking for a suspect with police canine.

Allison Hope, who lives throughout from the Adams’ modest one-story brick residence, a few mile down the street from the Lesslies, mentioned police allowed her to return residence round 9 p.m. Wednesday. Moments later, a car pulled into their driveway and legislation enforcement shortly surrounded the property.

She mentioned they spent hours negotiating with Adams, utilizing a loudspeaker and sending in a robotic to scan the home. She mentioned authorities repeatedly requested Adams to return out, and promised to get his disabled mom out safely, earlier than Adams shot himself.

“That is one thing I am unable to grasp but. I am unable to put all of it collectively and I am attempting to, and I witnessed it,” Hope mentioned. “I really feel dangerous for him as a result of if it was psychological or one thing happening in his life or no matter, you recognize, he wanted assist, and that is the unhappy half.”

Adams usually remoted himself, whilst a participant, his agent, Scott Casterline, advised the AP. Casterline mentioned he spoke usually with Adams’ father, who left him a voicemail Wednesday morning.

“He was a part of my household. I cherished him. He is an incredible child, an incredible man. That is so in contrast to him. He needed to not be in his proper thoughts, clearly,” Casterline mentioned.

“All of us who knew Philip are shaking our heads. He struggled away from the sport. I attempted to get him to return to Texas. I used to be going to search out him a job, however he would not depart South Carolina as a result of he had a son. He was a great father.

“Seeing Philip shoot two children, it isn’t him. I am unable to fathom it. It is devastating for the victims and the households,” Casterline mentioned.

Former Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith, who skilled Adams main as much as the 2010 draft and after he entered the league, mentioned he was a tough employee. He and Casterline each mentioned Adams had opened a store promoting smoothies and juice earlier than COVID-19 hit, and emphasised he did not drink or do medicine.

“He did not drink not one little bit of alcohol,” Smith mentioned. “He was a little bit of a neat freak. In his home, every thing was exactly positioned.”

Lesslie based two pressing care facilities, wrote a weekly medical column for The Charlotte Observer and have become a prolific creator, writing a number of volumes with recommendation on easy methods to decrease ldl cholesterol or blood stress and drop a few pounds. The doctor additionally penned quite a lot of collections of what he termed “inspiring true tales” from his work.

“I do know indisputably that life is fragile,” Lesslie wrote in a kind of books, “Angels within the ER.”

“I’ve come to grasp that humility stands out as the biggest advantage. And I’m satisfied we have to take the time to say the issues we deeply really feel to the folks we deeply care about.”

Studying a press release from the Lesslie household, Tolson mentioned the household was “within the midst of the unimaginable” however felt assured by religion that their “hearts are bent towards forgiveness and peace.”



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