Doctor and His Grandchildren Among 5 Fatally Shot in South Carolina


A neighbor shot and killed a physician, the physician’s spouse and their two grandchildren inside their home in Rock Hill, S.C., in addition to an air-conditioning technician who was working exterior the house on Wednesday afternoon, the authorities stated.

The gunman, Phillip Adams, 32, later shot and killed himself inside his own residence as regulation enforcement officers tried to barter with him, the authorities stated. Mr. Adams was a former skilled soccer cornerback who had been on the rosters of six groups over six seasons in the N.F.L.

The authorities stated he had fatally shot Dr. Robert Lesslie; his spouse, Barbara; and two of their grandchildren. The York County Coroner’s workplace recognized the youngsters as Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. The website of a medical office the place Dr. Lesslie, 70, labored stated that he and his 69-year-old spouse had eight grandchildren.

Mr. Adams additionally fatally shot James Lewis, 38, an air-conditioning technician who had been working exterior the Lesslies’ residence, the authorities stated. A second air-conditioning technician was taken to a hospital with critical gunshot wounds, in keeping with officers with the York County Sheriff’s Office. The technician, whose title was not launched, was in “very critical” situation, the sheriff, Kevin R. Tolson, stated at a news convention on Thursday.

Sheriff Tolson stated there was “no indication” that Mr. Adams had been considered one of Dr. Lesslie’s sufferers, though that was considered one of many questions investigators had been making an attempt to reply. He stated that investigators didn’t know what had led to the capturing.

“There is nothing about this right now that makes sense to any of us,” Sheriff Tolson stated.

A person who recognized himself as Mr. Adams’s father told a television station in Atlanta that his son had dedicated the killings and had then taken his personal life.

“I can say he’s a good kid. He was a good kid,” the person, Alonzo Adams, stated. “I think the football messed him up. I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm.”

Alonzo Adams stated he knew Dr. Lesslie and had even been his affected person a “long time ago.”

“I know they were good folks down there,” he stated. “I don’t know what happened or not. We’re going to keep them in our prayers. You all keep us in your prayers.”

Dr. Lesslie was a outstanding doctor in Rock Hill and had began an area medical heart. He and his spouse had lived in the town for 40 years, had 4 youngsters and sang in the choir on the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, stated Mayor John Gettys, who was a good friend of the household.

Mr. Gettys stated that Dr. Lesslie was identified for taking part in the bagpipes and that Barbara Lesslie had a “beautiful voice.”

She volunteered to assist adults with particular wants and yearly helped run a camp in North Carolina for adults with disabilities. Dr. Lesslie had practiced medication in Rock Hill, which is about 25 miles southwest of Charlotte, N.C., since 1981 and was a specialist in emergency medication, in keeping with the medical office the place he labored.

Dr. Lesslie had additionally been a newspaper and journal columnist, and the writer of a number of nonfiction books about emergency medical staff. He helped regulation enforcement officers by offering area for nurses to look at sexual assault victims, Sheriff Tolson stated.

“Today, everyone is grieving, and I think we’re going to mourn for some time,” stated Mr. Gettys, who added that he final noticed the couple at church on Sunday. “They were just like always — happy and loving and engaging,” he stated.

Representative Ralph Norman, a Republican whose district contains Rock Hill, stated in an announcement that he and his spouse, Elaine, had been shut mates with the Lesslies.

“I cannot begin to describe the heartache and pain Elaine and I are feeling,” he said on Twitter. “To know the Lesslie family is to love them.”

The capturing occurred at about 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Sheriff Tolson stated that Mr. Adams compelled his manner into the Lesslies’ residence, which is a few quarter-mile from the home Mr. Adams shared along with his father. When the police arrived, the sheriff stated, they discovered Dr. Lesslie, Barbara Lesslie and the 2 grandchildren in a again room. All 4 had gunshot wounds. Mr. Lewis was discovered exterior, he stated.

Sheriff Tolson stated that the police had not been in a position to decide whether or not something was taken from the house. “We did recover evidence at the scene that linked Mr. Adams to that area — definitively,” he stated, declining to elaborate.

Law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for Mr. Adams’s residence. After making an attempt to barter with Mr. Adams, the police discovered him in a bed room, useless from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sheriff Tolson stated.

Sheriff Tolson stated Mr. Adams had used two weapons, a .45-caliber and a 9-millimeter. He stated there was “no indication” that the weapons had been illegally obtained.

Mr. Adams was born in South Carolina. He performed school soccer at South Carolina State University and was drafted in the seventh spherical by the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He performed all however one game his rookie season, then break up time between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in 2011. Mr. Adams spent the next two seasons with the Oakland Raiders. In 2012, he sustained two concussions within a three-game period.

He performed his final two seasons with the Jets and the Atlanta Falcons. During his six-year profession, he appeared in 78 games. He additionally was a punt returner, some of the harmful roles in soccer, in three of his six seasons.

It was not clear if Mr. Adams’s kin would have his mind despatched to researchers who might decide whether or not he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative mind illness related to repeated head trauma. It has been related to temper swings and outbursts.

The illness might be identified solely posthumously — a course of that usually takes months — although analysis by scientists on the Boston University School of Medicine has proven that reminiscence loss and bother focusing, following instructions and dealing with on a regular basis duties are extra helpful in predicting C.T.E. than conduct signs.

In an announcement learn by the sheriff, kin of the victims stated they had been “truly in the midst of the unimaginable.”

The household stated they knew that “there are no answers that will satisfy the question ‘why?’” They added, “Our hearts are bent toward forgiveness and peace.”

Mike Ives contributed reporting.





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