Former NFL Player Phillip Adams Identified as Suspect in South Carolina Mass Shooting

by Clayton Edwards

A mass shooting at a private residence shook the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina Wednesday evening. The gunman killed five people and seriously wounded one other. Later that day, the gunman killed himself. Sources say Phillip Adams, a former NFL player, was responsible for the shooting.

Phillip Adams is the second former NFL player to be accused of murder in the past week. On the same day, authorities charged Travis Rudolph with first-degree murder.

During the Rock Hill shooting, Phillip Adams killed a prominent local doctor and his family. He killed Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, his wife Barbara, 69, and their two young grandchildren Adah, 9, and Noah, 5. He also fired on two maintenance workers who were present at the home. One of those men, James Lewis, died on the scene. Sources say the other man suffered serious injuries.

The Aftermath of Phillip Adams’ Actions

After Phillip Adams finished his gruesome deed, he fled the scene. York County deputies arrived at the Lesslie residence after being called at around 5:45 Wednesday evening. They searched for hours before locating the gunman in a nearby home. They then surrounded the home in which he hid. Adams killed himself shortly after police found him, according to The Herald Online.

Dr. Robert Lesslie was a prominent physician in the area. Dr. Lesslie started practicing in the area in 1981. He treated a large portion of Rock Hill’s residents, including Phillip Adams. Dr. Lesslie practiced both emergency and occupational medicine. He also wrote a book called Angels in the ER which compiled inspiring stories from his time working in the emergency department at Rock Hill General Hospital.

In his book, Dr. Lesslie wrote, “I know without a doubt that life is fragile. I have come to understand that humility may be the greatest virtue. And I am convinced we need to take the time to say the things we deeply feel to the people we deeply care about,” according to a report by ESPN.

He was a family man as well as a doctor. He and Barbara Lesslie shared thirty-five years of marriage. During those years, they raised four children to adulthood. Then they enjoyed the company of their grandchildren.

Trent Faris, the spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s office said that Dr. Lesslie was one of those people that everybody knew. He said that the doctor and the practice he started, Riverview Medical Center were fixtures of Rock Hill and had been for years.

At this time, authorities say they do not know what motivated Phillip Adams to do what he did.