Report: SC Gunman Is Former NFL Player

AP source identifies killer of 5 as Phillip Adams
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 8, 2021 9:10 AM CDT
Report: SC Gunman Is Former NFL Player
A 2015 photo of then-Atlanta Falcons defensive back Phillip Adams. A source has identified him as the gunman in South Carolina.   (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

The gunman who killed five people, including a prominent doctor, in South Carolina was former NFL pro Phillip Adams, who killed himself early Thursday, a source who was briefed on the investigation tells the AP. The source says that Adams' parents live near the doctor's home in Rock Hill, and that he'd been treated by the doctor. Adams killed himself after midnight with a .45-caliber weapon, according to the same source. The York County Sheriff's Office said previously they had searched for hours before finding the suspect in a nearby home. Adams, 33, played as a defensive back for multiple teams, including the 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons, after starring at South Carolina State. He also suffered multiple injuries in the NFL, including concussions and a broken left ankle.

The York County coroner’s office said Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene, along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. A man who'd been working at the home, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found shot to death outside, and a sixth person was hospitalized with "serious gunshot wounds," a York County Sheriff's Office's spokesperson said. A biography page for Dr. Lesslie said he and his wife of 35 years raised four children. He had been practicing medicine in Rock Hill since 1981, according to the Riverview website. He received his degree at the Medical University of South Carolina and has worked in the surrounding Rock Hill area and Charlotte, NC.

(More mass shootings stories.)

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