'Doesn't make sense': Former NFL player kills five in mass shooting

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams (pictured left) kneeling and the scene where his body was found (pictured right) after a mass shooting.
Former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams (pictured left) killed five people before dying by suicide at his parents home (pictured right). (Getty Images)

A community in South Carolina has been devastated after a former NFL player killed five people before dying by suicide in a devastating tragedy.

Former San Fransisco Cornerback Phillip Adams shot and killed five people including a doctor and the doctor's wife in the South Carolina city Rock Hill on Wednesday.

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The former NFL cornerback then returned to his parents house, when police arrived, before he died by suicide.

"There's nothing right now that makes sense to any of us," York County sheriff Kevin Tolson said.

Law enforcement are yet to determine a motive.

The five victims include a 70-year-old doctor, his 69-year-old wife and two of their grandchildren, age five and nine, as well as a 38-year-old boiler technician who was killed while working outside their house.

The doctor, Robert Lesslie, was a "pillar" of his community, the sheriff said. 

He had founded a health care centre nearby, according to local media.

A sixth person was hospitalised with gunshot wounds.

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The police read out a statement on behalf of Lesslie's family, which detailed the heartbreak felt within the community.

"The losses we are suffering cannot be uttered at this time," Lesslie's family said in a statement, read out by Tolson during the press conference.

Police said they were quick to identify the former NFL cornerback as a suspect based on evidence.

They then removed Adams' parents from the home, before attempting to make contact with the former NFL player.

Adam's body was found inside the house.

Adam's father, Alonzo, spoke to local media about his son and claimed NFL had 'messed him up'.

Phillip Adams, pictured here with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
Phillip Adams with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)

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Adam's played NFL between 2010-2015, but his career was plagued with injured and concussion.

In addition to the 49ers, he also played for the New England Patriots, the New York Jets, the Oakland Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons.

The quintuple murder comes as the United States is still reeling from two mass shootings in early 2021 in Atlanta and Boulder, Colorado.

US President Joe Biden, who unveiled a plan for new gun control measures on Thursday, branded gun violence in the country an "epidemic" and an "international embarrassment."

He cited the Rock Hill shooting as an example.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

with AFP

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