Investigators in South Carolina are not yet commenting on what may have motivated former NFL player Phillip Adams to kill a well-known doctor, his wife, two of their grandchildren and an HVAC technician Wednesday afternoon, but say he left evidence behind at the scene that led them right to him.
According to York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson, Adams said two guns were used in the murders of Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara Lesslie, 69, two of their eight grandchildren, ages 5 and 9, and 38-year-old James Lewis, who was shot outside. Another HVAC technician was shot and is currently hospitalized in critical condition.
Tolson spoke at a press conference Thursday, and said there is no evidence yet to suggest there was a possible doctor-client relationship between Adams and Robert Lesslie, 70.
Tolson said Adams forced his way into the Lesslie home after shooting both HVAC technicians in the driveway.
Nothing is believed to be missing from the home, the sheriff said.
The husband and wife were found in a room in the back of their house with their two grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, who was 9, and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie.
Tolson said authorities knew early on Adams was behind the shooting, citing unspecified evidence the former NFL pro left behind in the 70-year-old physician and author's home.
Tolson said that Adams was living in his parents' home, which is on the same street.
The sheriff played audio of the two 911 calls they received at around 4:45 p.m., alerting them to the mass shooting.
In one, a man who had been cutting the grass outside the home tells a dispatcher he heard at least four shots before seeing Adams emerge from the house, dressed in all black. The caller said the fleeing man was carrying something red.
The other call was from Lewis' boss. He told the dispatcher that he'd received a call from the wounded technician, pleading for him to call 911. "I was shot, I was shot," the worker yelled, the caller said.
Calling the doctor a "pillar" of the community, Tolson said he was once Lesslie's patient, and that the loss of the couple and their grandchildren was immeasurable.
Adams, Tolson said, was found in a bedroom of his parents' house, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
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Adams played college football for the South Carolina State Bulldogs before being selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
The former cornerback also played for the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets. He last played with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
The Lesslies were active members of a Rock Hill church who loved animals and traveling together.
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