ROCK HILL, S.C. — The suspected gunman in a grisly South Carolina mass murder-suicide Thursday has been identified by authorities as former NFL cornerback Phillip Adams.
Adams is suspected of killing five people, including a prominent doctor and his grandchildren, in a home near his parents in his hometown of Rock Hill. The York County coroner’s office identified those killed as Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70; Barbara Lesslie, 69; Adah Lesslie 9; Noah Lesslie, 5; and James Lewis, 38, who had been working at the home and whose body was found outside, The Associated Press reported.
Update 4:20 p.m. ET April 8: York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said during a Thursday afternoon news conference that details regarding Adams’ interactions with the Lesslies remained scarce.
Tolson did confirm that Adams had been living with his parents and that he returned to their home following the shooting.
“We also learned that Mr. Adams lived close to where this incident took place, just down the road about a quarter of a mile,” Tolson said.
The sheriff told reporters that the department’s traffic unit issued Adams several minor traffic citations in February and confirmed that he had pending criminal charges from 2016 that occurred in Mecklenburg County, South Carolina.
Despite reports that Adams had been treated at some point by Dr. Robert Lesslie, Tolson said he could not confirm that Adams had ever been Lesslie’s patient.
Original report: Adams, 32, played for South Carolina State before being taken in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. According to ESPN player statistics, he played in 15 games that year, recording 13 total tackles and one defended pass, before brief stints with the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. He finished his professional career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
Adams, who graduated from Rock Hill High School, is believed to have killed himself early Thursday with a .45 caliber weapon shortly after the mass shooting, a source unauthorized to speak to the public told The Associated Press.
Please check back for updates to this developing story.
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.