COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The gunman who killed five people including a prominent doctor in South Carolina was former NFL player Phillip Adams, who killed himself early Thursday, according to a source who was briefed on the investigation.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill, and that he had been treated by the doctor. The source said Phillips killed himself after midnight with a .45 caliber weapon.
The York County Sheriff’s Office said they had searched for hours before finding the suspect in a nearby home.
Adams 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 had 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,” York County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesperson Trent Faris said.
Faris said deputies were called around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday to the Lesslies’ home, and spent hours searching for the suspect before finding him 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.
The investigation is ongoing, he said.
“Dr. Lesslie was my doctor growing up,” Faris said. “Dr. Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows. He started Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill and it’s been a staple in Rock Hill for years.”
A biography page of 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, North Carolina.
Rock Hill is a city in northernmost South Carolina about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo: Dr. Robert Lesslie, FacebookRead More »
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Photo: Robert D Lesslie, MD, FacebookRead More »
Their two grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, were also found dead from gunshot wounds in the home.
Detectives say a fifth victim was found deceased outside of the home. James Lewis, 38, was working at the home at the time of the incident. He also died from gunshot wounds.
The Sheriff’s Office says all of the deaths are being investigated as homicides. Autopsy and toxicology reports are pending. Beloved doctor, his wife and 2 grandchildren among 5 killed in York County mass shooting
A sixth person was also reportedly shot and injured. Their condition is unknown.
As you can imagine, our team at GSM Services is heart broken from the events that transpired yesterday evening in York, SC.
Both men involved in this incident are long-standing, beloved members of our family at GSM. These men embody the values we strive to achieve at GSM and are family focused, up-beat, and wonderful team members who cared about all the people they encountered.
In the coming days, our focus is on helping these families and our team members cope with this tragedy.
We wish to thank the law enforcement and emergency management personnel who have been so helpful with their communication, empathy, and professionalism as we dealt with this yesterday and overnight.
We also want to thank our community for all the support for our team and these families. Our community has helped us build this company through all of our good times and we are blessed knowing this support continues during bad times.
Please continue to keep our families in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.JOEL AND STEVEN LONG, GSM SERVICES