The shooter who killed five people, including a prominent doctor in South Carolina, was former NFL player Phillip Adams, who committed suicide early Thursday, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said Adams’s parents lived near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill and he had been treated by the doctor. The source said Adams committed suicide after midnight with a .45 caliber weapon.
The York County Sheriff’s Office said it searched for hours before finding the suspect in a nearby house.
Adams, 33, played 78 NFL games in five seasons for six teams. A South Carolina state safety and special teams player, he joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick.
Rarely a starter, Adams was also with New England, Seattle, Atlanta, Oakland and the New York Jets, ending his career with the Falcons in 2015.
As a rookie at the end of the 2010 season, Adams suffered a serious ankle injury that required surgery that included several screws inserted into his leg. He never played for the 49ers again, coming out just before the start of the 2011 season and signing with New England. It wasn’t until 2013 with the Raiders that he was on a roster for a full season.
Dr Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, the coroner’s office said. York County.
A man who worked at the home, James Lewis, 38, of Gaston, was found shot outside, and a sixth person was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds”, the office spokesperson said York County Sheriff Trent Faris.
Faris said early Thursday that MPs were called around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Lesslies’ home and spent hours searching for the suspect before finding him at a nearby house.
“We have found the person we believe responsible and we are with him at the moment and that is all I can say about the suspect,” Faris said, adding that they had no reason to believe that anyone one else was involved. “We are currently at his home and we are serving a search warrant.”
Later Thursday, a few sheriff’s deputies were stationed near the Lesslie House, which is well beyond an arched stone gate, on a long cobbled driveway and not visible from the road. The Adams House, about a mile down the road, is a modest one-story brick house with several cars in the driveway.
Lesslie had worked for decades as an emergency physician in Rock Hill, board certified in emergency medicine and occupational medicine, and as the emergency department medical director for almost 15 years at Rock General Hospital. Hill, according to his website.
He founded two emergency care centers in the area and wrote a weekly medical column for The Charlotte Observer. He also wrote a book, “Angels in the Emergency Room,” bringing together what he called “inspiring true stories” of his time in the ER.
“I know without a doubt that life is fragile,” Lesslie wrote, according to an excerpt. “I came to understand that humility can be the greatest virtue. And I’m convinced that we need to take the time to tell the people we care about deeply about our feelings.
Faris said Lesslie was very well known in the Rock Hill community.
“Dr. Lesslie was my doctor growing up, ”said Faris. “Dr. Lesslie is one of those people that everyone knows. He founded Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill and has been a Rock Hill staple for years.
A biography page said he and his wife raised four children and Lesslie graduated from South Carolina Medical University.
Rock Hill is a town in the far north of South Carolina, about 40 kilometers southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.
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