South Carolina

Ex-NFL player Phillip Adams identified as gunman in killing of five in South Carolina

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Former NFL defensive back Phillip Adams has been identified as the gunman suspect who killed five people and injured another in a South Carolina shooting on Wednesday, CNN reported, citing a South Carolina state official. Adams, 33, then killed himself after midnight on Thursday with a .45 caliber weapon following the shooting. One of the five people killed in the incident included a prominent doctor, who was said to have treated Adams’ parents, who lived near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill. 

The York County coroner’s office noted that Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were both pronounced dead at the scene along with their grandchildren Adah, 9, and Noah, 5. James Lewis, a 38-year-old man who was working at the home, was found shot to death outside. Meanwhile, a sixth person has been hospitalized with what York County Sherrif’s Office spokesperson Trent Faris described as “serious gunshot wounds.” 

Authorities were called to the Lesslies’ home at around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday and searched the area for hours before finding Adams in a nearby home. 

“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, via the AP. 

Adams, a Rock Hill native, entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers back in 2010 after playing collegiately at South Carolina State. He spent around six years in the league and made brief stops with various teams, including the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, the then-Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons. In all, Adams played in 78 regular-season games (11 starts). 

The investigation is still ongoing. 


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