Former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people in South Carolina then turned the gun on himself after his medication was taken away, Rep. Ralph Norman said in an interview with Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV.
Adams gunned down his 70-year -old doctor, Dr. Robert Lesslie, the doctor’s wife, two of the doctor’s grandchildren, and he also shot two air-conditioning contractors working at the doctor’s home, fatally wounding one.
“My understanding (is) he was treating him and had stopped giving him medicine, and that’s what triggered the killings,” Rep. Norman said, citing law enforcement.
Adams, 33, played as a defensive back for multiple teams including the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons after starring at South Carolina State University. He also had stints with the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.
During his NFL career, Adams suffered multiple injuries, including concussions and a broken left ankle.
On April 7, Adams forced his way into Dr. Lesslie’s Rock Hill, S.C., home and went on a shooting spree. Then he returned to his family’s house down the street where he later killed himself when police tracked him down and surrounded the house.
Adams’ agent described him as a loner who refused to heed the medical advice offered to him.
“We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,” agent Scott Casterline told the Associated Press. “I knew he was hurting and missing football but he wouldn’t take health tips offered to him. I felt he was lost without football, somewhat depressed.”
Dr. Lesslie had worked for decades as an emergency room doctor in Rock Hill, board-certified in emergency and occupational medicine and serving as emergency department medical director for nearly 15 years at Rock Hill General Hospital, according to his website.
He also wrote a book, “Angels in the ER,” collecting what he termed “inspiring true stories” from his time in the emergency department.
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