Phillip Adams, a 33-year-old former American football league player, killed five people on Wednesday before taking his own life, according to the Associated Press, citing law enforcement on Thursday. The motive has still not been determined.
Five people next to Adams’ parents killed
The police had gone to the home of the parents of the former NFL player in Rock Hill, South Carolina, located below and on the same road as the home of the Lesslie family, where the tragedy took place, a few hours after being called to « About twenty shots », according to the recording of a call to the emergency services. The police have found Adams, presumably suicide.
Earlier, a shooting took the lives of Dr Robert Lesslie (70), his wife Barbara (69) and two of his nine grandchildren, Adah (9) and Noah (5), as well as a employee of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning company who worked on site, James Lewis (38). A sixth victim, Robert Shook (also 38), also employed by this company, was transported in critical condition to hospital. A second recording reveals that one of them allegedly called the company stating that he had been shot and that his colleague » not'[était] more aware ”.
A former player not eligible for ETC tests
Adams had played 78 NFL games in six seasons, for six different teams. Drafted in 2010 by the San Francisco 49ers, from the University of South Carolina, he then played for the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets before ending his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. An ankle injury during his rookie season (first year) required major surgery. He had also received at least two concussions in three matches, in 2012.
His father, Alonzo, believes that a link can be established between the practice of the sport and these murders: “He’s a good kid … he was a good kid, and I think it was US football that damaged him. « Retired after 2014, the ex-cornerback was not eligible for the tests, negotiated in an agreement between the all-powerful league and its ex-players, to assess the impact of the degenerative neurological disease « ETC » ( chronic traumatic encephalopathy), resulting from concussions and mini-concussions received.
« I feel bad because if he was not feeling well mentally, he could have been helped »
A neighbor of her parents, Allison Hope, said police spent hours trying to negotiate with Adams. The young man is described as someone « Who didn’t talk a lot and didn’t bother anyone », according to his father. « I do not understand what could have happened, I feel bad because if he was not feeling well mentally, he could have been helped », testifies Hope.
His agent, Scott Casterline, spoke to him regularly and had left him a message again Wednesday morning. He also talks about it like someone « Who often isolated himself »even during his athletic career. Ex-cornerback Kevin Smith, who spent his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys between 1992 and 2000 and coached Adams, says he never drank alcohol or dabbled in drugs. It also portrays an extremely thorough person, in whom all matters were constantly placed in a very precise order.
Adams and one of the victims, Dr Lesslie, knew each other: a fairly well-known emergency physician locally, as a former emergency medical director at a local hospital, Adams had been his patient, but no current leads have established link between this shooting and the relationship between the two men.