Father of York County mass shooting suspect says son killed 5 others, then himself

The father of Phillip Adams, a former football star at South Carolina State, said his son shot and killed 5 including an ER doctor, his wife and their 2 grandkids.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — A man claiming to be the father of the suspect in a mass shooting that left prominent Rock Hill Dr. Robert Lesslie and four other people dead said his son took his own life after shooting six people in York County, South Carolina, Wednesday.

Alonzo Adams, the father of Phillip Adams, a former NFL player and college football star at South Carolina State, said his son shot six people, killing five, before taking his own life.

“I can say he’s a good kid,” Phillips said. “I think the football messed him up.”

Detectives in York County have not released any suspect information at this time, but Trent Faris, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said early Thursday there was no additional threat to the community. 

“The person we believe is responsible, we have found the person we believe is responsible,” Faris said. “We are with them at this time. That’s all I can say about the suspect.”

According to the York County Sheriff’s Office, 70-year-old Dr. Robert Lesslie and his wife, 69-year-old Barbara Lesslie, both with apparent gunshot wounds. Their grandchildren, ages 9 and 5, were also killed. A fifth person, identified as 38-year-old James Lewis, who was working at the home at the time, was shot and killed.  A sixth person was seriously injured and is in the hospital.

“I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm,” Adams said, before saying he knew the family. “All I can say is we pray for the family. He used to be my doctor a long time ago. I know they were good folks down there. We’re gonna keep them in our prayers.”

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Adams told WCNC Charlotte’s Richard DeVayne his son Phillip Adams had recently moved to Rock Hill from Fort Mill. Alonzo Adams said investigators came to his house Wednesday night and his son took his life inside the home. 

Phillip Adams played football at South Carolina State University from 2006 to 2009. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He last appeared in an NFL game with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

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