Former NFL Player Phillip Adams Dead by Apparent Suicide After Killing 5 People

According to the York County Sheriff’s Office, Phillip Adams killed a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren in South Carolina.

By Mike Vulpo Apr 08, 2021 10:31 PMTags
Phillip Adams Paul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock

Former NFL player Phillip Adams has died from an apparent suicide after allegedly killing five people in South Carolina.

According to NBC News, who cited the York County Sheriff's Office, Phillip, 32, was found dead after a police standoff. The cause of death is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a press conference on Thursday, April 8, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson also confirmed to reporters that the athlete killed five people, including prominent Rock Hill doctor Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara Lesslie and two of their grandchildren, before killing himself. Both grandchildren were under 10 years old. 

"There's nothing about this, right now, that makes sense to any of us," Tolson told reporters. "And that's why we're working so hard to try to get more information." Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the shooting. 

On April 8, Phillip's father Alonzo Adams spoke to WCNC and addressed the tragedy involving his son.

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"I can say he's a good kid. I think the football messed him up," he shared with the local news outlet. "I don't think he ever did anybody any harm. 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. I don't know what happened but we're gonna keep them in our prayers."

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In the press conference, police would not confirm if Phillip had been one of Dr. Robert's patients.

Phillip was drafted into the NFL by the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 but was cut before the 2011 season because of an ankle injury.

According to ESPN, he played 78 NFL games over five seasons for six teams including the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons.

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of this devastating tragedy," the NFL said in a statement to NBC News.

As the investigation continues, many are focusing on the victims including Dr. Robert and his wife, who have four adult children and eight grandchildren.

According to his company's website, Dr. Robert was the founder and medical director of Riverview House Calls & Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care. He cared for thousands of patients while practicing in Rock Hill for 40 years.