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Former NFL player kills doctor and his family before taking his own life in South Carolina

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Update:

According to the Sacramento Bee, the gunman has been identified as former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

During his tenure with the NFL, he played for six professional teams, having last played for the Atlanta Falcons.

Phillip Adams (pictured left in 2012) allegedly took the life of a prominent doctor (right), his wife, two of their grandchildren, and a worker at their home. (Wikimedia Commons/Facebook)

Prior to the NFL, Adams played college football for South Carolina State University.

The source, who leaked details on the shooter’s identity on condition of anonymity, said Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill.

The source added that Adams had previously been treated by the doctor.

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Update: According to WSOC-TV 9, a suspect was found after an hours-long search. York County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the suspect was found in a nearby home. There were no other details released on the suspect.

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Andrew Dys and Tobie Perkins

The State

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Five people were killed Wednesday in York County in a mass shooting by a suspect being sought early into Thursday morning, officials said.

The victims included a prominent Rock Hill doctor and his wife, two of their grandchildren, and a worker who was at the doctor’s Marshall Road home outside Rock Hill where the shootings took place, police and coroner officials said.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast identified the victims in the house as: Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69; Adah Lesslie, 9; and Noah Lesslie, 5.

James Lewis, 39, of Gastonia, N.C., was found dead outside the home, Gast said. Lewis was working at the house when he was killed, Gast said.

Robert Lesslie had practiced medicine in York County for decades, with a specialty in emergency room medicine. He was medical director of the Emergency Room at Piedmont Medical Center for 15 years and worked at several other Charlotte-area hospitals, according to his biography from his medical practice.

He was medical director of Riverview House Calls & Riverview Hospice & Palliative Care.

He and his wife Barbara had been married more than 40 years.

A manhunt for the suspect was ongoing after midnight Thursday, seven hours after the shootings, officials said.

York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris said the mass shooting occurred about 5 p.m.

A sheriff’s office briefing for the media and public is expected in the next half hour, officials said at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Police are searching for a male suspect wearing a black hoodie and camouflage pants, officials said. Deputies said the “suspect is possibly armed & dangerous.” People in the area are advised to stay inside their homes, the sheriff’s office said.

They have not identified the suspect.

A neighbor told The Herald that deputies came to the house around 6 p.m. and advised them to stay inside, but neighbors were then allowed to leave around 8 p.m.

As of 10:30 p.m., officials had not identified any of the victims. A State Law Enforcement Division helicopter continued to fly through the area in the dark, shining a spotlight in the search.

Several dozen deputies remained on scene as of 10:30 p.m. The Rock Hill Police Department also is assisting county deputies on scene and in other areas, Lt. Michael Chavis of the police department said.

“We are helping the county make sure law enforcement service is not interrupted,” Chavis said.

Other police agencies, including SLED agents and others from local, state and federal law enforcement departments, were on scene. K-9 units and patrol deputies also assisted detectives in the search.

Sheriff Kevin Tolson cautioned against people spreading information on social media, which had not come from official sources, about possible victims.

“Out of respect for families involved, please don’t share rumors,” the statement said. “Share facts from reliable sources.”

Officers were called at 4:45 p.m. to a home near 4400 Marshall Road, Faris said. The area is south of Rock Hill west of Interstate 77, north of the Chester County line. The area is rural with heavy woods on all sides.

York County, across the state line in South Carolina from Charlotte, North Carolina, is home to around 275,000 people.

Two medical helicopters from Charlotte arrived along with ambulances from EMS.

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©2021 The State. Visit at thestate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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