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NFL participant Phillip Adams killed 5, then himself

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

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson informed a information convention that investigators had not but decided a motive for Wednesday’s mass taking pictures.

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

Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his spouse, Barbara, 69, had been pronounced useless of their house in Rock Hill together with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, the York County coroner’s workplace mentioned.

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

At Thursday’s information convention, Tolson performed audio of two 911 calls, the primary from an HVAC firm that employed Lewis and Shook. One of many males, the caller mentioned, had referred to as him “screaming” and saying that he had been shot, and that his coworker was shot and “unresponsive.”

“I feel there’s been a foul taking pictures,” a unique man mentioned in a second 911 name, saying he was exterior slicing his grass and heard “about 20” pictures fired on the Lesslie house earlier than seeing somebody go away the home.

Tolson mentioned proof on the scene led authorities to Adams as a suspect. He mentioned they went to Adams’ dad and mom’ house, evacuated them after which tried to speak Adams out of the home. Ultimately, they discovered him useless of a gunshot wound to the pinnacle.

Tolson mentioned each a .45-caliber and 9mm weapon had been utilized in Wednesday’s taking pictures.

An individual briefed on the investigation informed The Related Press earlier Thursday that Adams had been handled by Lesslie, who lived close to his dad and mom’ house. The individual spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he wasn’t approved to talk publicly.

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

Lesslie labored for many years as an emergency room physician, board-certified in each emergency medication and occupational medication and serving as emergency division medical director for practically 15 years at Rock Hill Basic Hospital, in response to his web site.

He and his spouse had 4 kids and 9 grandchildren, and had 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 per week every summer time. On Thursday, Tolson mentioned the household had requested that any memorials be made to the camp.

Adams, 32, performed in 78 NFL video games over six seasons for six groups. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft select of South Carolina State, and although he not often began, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets earlier than ending his profession with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie, Adams suffered a extreme ankle harm and by no means performed for the 49ers once more. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three 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 former gamers over such accidents, as a result of he hadn’t retired by 2014.

Adams’ father informed a Charlotte tv station he blamed soccer for his son’s issues, which could have led him to commit Wednesday’s violence.

“I can say he’s child — he was child, and I feel the soccer messed him up,” Alonzo Adams informed WCNC-TV.

Deputies had been referred to as round 4:45 p.m. Wednesday to the Lesslies’ house, and evacuated the neighbors as they looked for hours for a suspect.

Allison Hope, who lives throughout from Adams’ dad and mom’ house, a few mile from the Lesslies, mentioned police allowed her to return house round 9 p.m. Wednesday. Moments later, a automobile pulled into the Adams’ driveway and regulation enforcement rapidly surrounded the property.

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

“That is one thing I can’t grasp but. I can’t put all of it collectively and I’m making an attempt to,” Hope mentioned.

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

“That is so in contrast to him. He needed to not be in his proper thoughts, clearly,” Casterline mentioned, including that Adams struggled away from the sport.

“He had an harm his rookie 12 months. Some groups wrote him off and he had that stigma of a man who was damage,” Casterline mentioned. “It was arduous for him to stroll away from the sport, particularly a man as devoted as he was.”

“We inspired him to discover all of his incapacity choices and he wouldn’t do it,” Casterline added. “I knew he was hurting and lacking soccer however he wouldn’t take well being suggestions provided to him. He mentioned he would however he wouldn’t.”

“I felt he was misplaced with out soccer, considerably depressed.”

Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith, who educated Adams, mentioned the previous NFL participant had opened a store promoting smoothies earlier than COVID-19 hit. Each he and Casterline emphasised Adams didn’t drink or do medicine.

Lesslie based two pressing care facilities and had traveled the nation giving lectures to an emergency nurses’ group, his web site mentioned. He wrote a weekly medical column for The Charlotte Observer and have become a prolific creator, writing a number of volumes with recommendation on decrease ldl cholesterol and blood strain, 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 undoubtedly that life is fragile,” Lesslie wrote in a kind of books, “Angels within the ER.”

“I’m satisfied we have to take the time to say the issues we deeply really feel to the folks we deeply care about.”

A press release from the Lesslie household mentioned they had been “within the midst of the unimaginable” however felt assured by religion that their “hearts are bent towards forgiveness and peace.”


Kinnard reported from Columbia, S.C. Contributors embrace AP Professional Soccer Writers Barry Wilner in New York and Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia; Sports activities author Josh Dubow in Alameda, Calif.; Authorized affairs author Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia and Nell Redmond in Rock Hill. Meg Kinnard will be reached at

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