Former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people on Wednesday in South Carolina before killing himself early Thursday morning, April 8, a source briefed on the investigation told the Associated Press.
One of the victims was a well-known physician, Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, the Associated Press reported. The other victims, Lesslie’s wife Barbara, 69, the couple’s grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, were all pronounced dead at the scene.
James Lewis, 38, had been working at the doctor’s home and was found dead of a gunshot wound outside, the Associated Press reported. A sixth victim was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds,” York County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Trent Faris said, per the Associated Press report.
Authorities Found Adams in a Nearby Home
After a search through the night, authorities found Adams in a nearby home on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Adams’ parents lived close to the Lesslies, a source told the Associated Press.
“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.
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Authorities believe Adams killed himself after midnight on Thursday morning with a .45 caliber weapon, the source told the Associated Press.
During Adams’ NFL career, he played six seasons with several teams, including a six-game stint with the New England Patriots in 2011. His longest tenure with any team ran from 2012-13 with the Oakland Raiders. He also played with the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and for just one game in 2011 with the Seattle Seahawks.
In college, Adams starred at South Carolina State before being drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During Adams’ career, he suffered several injuries, including multiple concussions. He was 32 years old.
More on the Victims
Sheriff’s spokesperson Faris said Robert Lesslie and his medical center had been referred to as “a staple” in the Rock Hill community, the Associated Press reported. An unnamed source told that outlet Lesslie had treated Adams. According to Lesslie’s about page, he was a certified emergency medicine and occupational medicine physician and a co-owner of two urgent care/occupational clinics.
He’d worked for more than 25 years in emergency rooms in and around Charlotte, North Carolina, according to his website, and had served as medical director of the emergency department at Rock Hill General Hospital for nearly 15 years.
During his time at Rock Hill General Hospital, Lesslie was honored with the Continuing Education award by the American Medical Association, his website states. He also gave lectures to the Emergency Nurses Association across several major cities. He wrote on his website:
One day, each of us will find ourselves in our own ER—a place of darkness, pain, and fear. It is here that we will suddenly be confronted by our own mortality, the death of a loved one, or some unexpected and life-changing occurrence. How will we respond?
Lesslie and his wife were also involved in an outreach program for disabled individuals called Camp Joy where the former was the program’s physician each summer. Lesslie, his wife and their grandchildren are survived by the couple’s children Lori, Amy, Robbie and Jeffrey, and three other grandchildren, his website indicates.
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