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More Questions Than Answers: In South Carolina, Famous Footballer Kills 5 People, Including 2 Children

In South Carolina, a National Football League (NFL) player killed 5 people, including two children. More details about this incident were reported by the publication CNN.

Photo: Shutterstock

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said that on Wednesday, April 7, 32-year-old Philip Adams shot two air conditioning technicians in the street. After killing one of them, he broke into the house of Dr. Robert Lessley in Rock Hill.

Lessley, his wife Barbara Lessley and two grandchildren aged 5 and 9 were found murdered inside the house; technician James Lewis of Gastonia, North Carolina, found outside.

The daughter of the surviving technician Robert Shook said that the father is in intensive care on artificial lung ventilation. Roberta managed to see her father, but he has "a very long road to recovery."

Later, Adams was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the bedroom of the house where he lived with his parents.

Tolson said it was unclear why Adams did this.

"At the moment there is nothing in it that makes sense," the sheriff said.

The four children of the doctor said in a statement that the family is experiencing an unimaginable loss.

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“Although we know that there are no answers that can satisfy the question 'why', we are sure of one thing: we do not grieve like those who have no hope. Our hope is in the promise of Jesus Christ, ”the family said in a statement.

Lessley was "a mainstay in society," Tolson said of the doctor, who served as chief physician and medical director for the University of Winthrop and also founded a hospice and home call service.

“He used to treat me in his clinic. The doctor knew everyone, treated everyone with respect, ”Tolson recalls.

President of Winthrop University George Hind noted that Lessley's contribution to the development of the school is very great.

“Students have been referred to him for a long time when they needed additional help beyond our capabilities,” Hind said in a statement. “Personally, I will forever be grateful to him for the advice and guidance he gave our COVID-19 response team when we opened the campus for living and learning last fall.”

Many questions - few answers

Investigators do not yet know what led to the shooting, Tolson said. They believe that Adams was the only attacker.

“We probably have more questions about this case than you,” the sheriff told reporters.

According to Tolson, Adams left something in the house, and it made the investigators believe that he was the killer, and therefore went to the neighboring house of the Adams family.

The officers took the parents out of the house and tried to contact Adams. They soon found him dead, Tolson said, though they hadn't heard the gunshots.

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According to York County coroner Sabrina Gast, Adams died from a gunshot wound to himself.

The police were unable to find information about whether the shooter was the doctor's patient.

Adams played for several NFL teams

A South Carolina state official confirmed that Adams played in the NFL.

He served as a quarterback from 2010 to 2015 for teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons.

According to the NFL, he had five interceptions and 121 tackles in 78 games. He returned 37 antlers with the Raiders and 49ers.

Adams' father, Alonso Adams, reported that Lessley had been his doctor many years ago. He called his son a quiet and good child.

Philip Adams played at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg before joining the NFL. He attended Rock Hill High School in his hometown.


The police were called to Lessley's house at about 16:45 pm.

“The worker shouted that he was shot, and the second technician was killed,” the caller told the emergency operator.

Another man told the operator that he was mowing the grass when he heard the characteristic pops.

He approached the Lesley site and from a distance saw a man lying on the ground. Then he realized that the shots had sounded.

The caller said that he saw a man in black clothes come out of the house.

Although the witness claimed nearly 20 shots, the sheriff confirmed that there were "several".

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South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster expressed his condolences to a relative of the victims on Twitter.

“Tragic and heartbreaking news from Rock Hill. Please pray during this difficult time, ”reads the tweet.

Trent Faris, a York County sheriff's spokesman, knew the victim and said that "Dr. Lessley was my doctor as a child."

“Dr. Lessley was one of those people everyone knows. He founded the Rock Hill Riverview Medical Center and was the principal doctor at Rock Hill for many years, ”lamented Faris.

Lessley was the founder of Riverview House Calls and Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care, according to the services' joint website, and has been practicing in Rock Hill since 1981. On the personal page of the doctor's biography, it is said that he and his wife have been married for 40 years, raised four children, and had nine grandchildren.

“In my free time, I enjoy writing, playing golf, hunting, growing fruit and hops, and playing bagpipes,” reads Lessley's biography page.

His website lists several books he has written, including Angels in the Hospital. This is a book about faith in God, the work of nurses, doctors and others in difficult conditions when he worked in the emergency room.

“I was not only a doctor, but also an observer of the state of people. There is no better place to watch than an ambulance, ”he said of a book published in 2008. - You will find out what people think. Everyone has something to teach us. I wanted to do it from a spiritual point of view. "

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