Former NFL player linked to slayings of 2 children, 3 adults
ROCK HILL, S.C. — The suspect accused of killing five people, including two children and a prominent doctor, in South Carolina is reportedly a former NFL player.
According to WSOC-TV, the gunman was identified as 32-year-old former NFL pro Phillip Adams.
Adams reportedly opened fired at the doctor's home and killed five people, including Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, as well as their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5.
A fifth victim who had been working at the home when he was shot, 38-year-old James Lewis, was found dead outside, officials say.
According to York County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesperson Trent Faris, a sixth person was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds.”
Sources say Adams died by suicide early Thursday.
An AP source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill, and that the former athlete had been treated by the doctor.
The source went on to say that after midnight, Adams used a .45 caliber weapon to take his own life.
The York County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that officials participated in an hours-long search before finding Adams in a nearby home.
According to the coroner’s office, he was found dead in the home after a standoff, and his cause of death was listed as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Adams was a defensive back for multiple teams including the 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons after starring at South Carolina State. While with the NFL, the football player suffered multiple injuries, including concussions and a broken left ankle.
Officials say that at this time, his motive for the shooting is unclear and their investigation into the harrowing incident remains ongoing.
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