Report: Suspect who killed 5, then himself in South Carolina was one-time Seahawks player

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The man suspected of killing five people, including a prominent doctor and two children, during a shooting Wednesday at a home in Rock Hill, S.C., has been identified as former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams, The Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified source.

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Authorities in York County identified the shooting victims as Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; Barbara Lesslie, 69; James Lewis, 38; Adah Lesslie, 9; and Noah Lesslie, 5. One other person suffered “serious gunshot wounds” in the attack, WSOC-TV reported.

Officials said they found the suspected gunman at a nearby home early Thursday. The AP reported Adams killed himself following the shooting at the Lesslie family home.

Adams, 32, played for South Carolina State before being taken in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. According to ESPN player statistics, he played in 15 games that year, recording 13 total tackles and one defended pass, before brief stints with the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. He finished his professional career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

Adams was with the Seahawks in the 2012 and 2014 preseasons and was cut both times during final roster cuts.

Adams reportedly suffered a severe left ankle injury during the second-to-last game of the 49ers 2010 season and two concussions over the course of three games in the 2012 season with the Raiders.


York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson shared a statement Thursday from the families of some of the victims of Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Rock Hill.

“We are truly in the midst of the unimaginable,” relatives of the Lesslie family said in the statement. “While we know there are no answers that will satisfy the question ‘why,’ we are sure of one thing: we do not grieve as those without hope. Our hope is found in the promise of Jesus Christ and we are enveloped by peace that surpasses all understanding. To that end, our hearts are bent towards forgiveness and peace, toward love and connectedness, toward celebration and unity.”

“If you would like to do something for the family, Adah and Noah would want you to stop at the free pantries and libraries in your community,” relatives said in their statement. “Barbara and Robert would want you to be good stewards at what you are given, leaving every place better than it was before you got there.”

Family members asked that people looking to help donate to Camp Joy in Greenville, North Carolina.

Original report: Officials in South Carolina are investigating after five people, including two children, were found dead in a Rock Hill home, authorities said.

In a news release early Thursday, the York County Coroner’s Office said it responded to a Marshall Road home Wednesday “to investigate multiple deaths at the residence.” Authorities found three adults and two children dead from gunshot wounds, WSOC-TV reported.

The victims include the home’s residents, Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and Barbara Leslie, 69; their grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5; and James Lewis, 38, of Gastonia, who was working at the residence, according to WSOC.

“All deaths are being investigated as homicides,” the Coroner’s Office said in the news release, adding that autopsies and toxicology tests were pending.

The York County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate and remained at the scene early Thursday, the release said.

WSOC reported that detectives have identified and found a suspect. Authorities were serving a search warrant, according to the news outlet.

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