Apr 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former NFL player Phillip Adams killed 5 in South Carolina shooting

Phillip Adams of the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on December 8, 2013

Phillip Adams in December 8, 2013. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The York County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people at a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, before killing himself, the AP reported.

The big picture: Police have yet to determine a motive and said that two children were among the victims. The Rock Hill shooting comes in the wake of several major mass shooting events in the U.S. over the past month.

What they're saying: “There’s nothing right now that makes sense to any of us,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said during a press conference, according to AP.

  • The sheriff's department said Robert Lesslie, 70, his wife, Barbara, 69, and their two grandchildren, ages 9 and 5, were pronounced dead at the home. James Lewis, 38, who was working outside the home at the time of the shooting, was also pronounced dead.
  • A sixth victim, Robert Shook, 38, was flown to a hospital and was in critical condition.

Evidence left at the crime scene led authorities to determine Adams as a suspect and went to his parents’ home.

  • They tried to talk Adams out of the house, where he was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Adams was a former NFL football cornerback who had been on the rosters of six teams over six seasons but suffered multiple injuries throughout his career, including two concussions within three games, according to the New York Times.

  • Alonzo Adams, who said he was Adams’s father told WCNC-TV, a television station in Atlanta, Wednesday that his son had committed the killings and then took his life.
  • “I can say he’s a good kid. He was a good kid,” Alonzo Adams said. “I think the football messed him up. I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm.”
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