South Carolina shooting: ex-NFL pro Phillip Adams killed five, then himself

The gunman who killed five people including a prominent doctor in South Carolina was former NFL pro Phillip Adams, who killed himself early Thursday, according to a source who was briefed on the investigation.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home in Rock Hill, and that he had been treated by the doctor. The source said Phillips killed himself after midnight with a .45 caliber weapon.

The York county sheriff’s office had said the suspect was found in a nearby home. Details on the suspect’s apprehension weren’t immediately released.

The York County coroner’s office said Dr Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, nine, and Noah Lesslie, five.

A fifth victim, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found dead outside. Authorities said he had been working at the home when he was shot.

The York county sheriff’s office’s spokesperson, Trent Faris, said a sixth person was hospitalized with “serious gunshot wounds”. Their condition is unknown.

Faris said deputies were called to the area around 4.45pm to the home in the Rock Hill area.

“We are shocked that this type of incident happened here,” Faris said. “It doesn’t happen here. It’s one of those strange things that a lot of people are going to have a hard time understanding and we just hope that everybody understands that we’re going to do everything we can to try to figure out why this happened here in Rock Hill, South Carolina.”

The sheriff’s office spent hours searching for Adams before finding him. It’s unclear when the suspect was found.

Faris said Lesslie was a prominent figure in Rock Hill.

“I’ve lived in Rock Hill my entire life and Dr Lesslie was my doctor growing up,” Faris said. “Dr Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows. He started Riverview medical center in Rock Hill and it’s been a staple in Rock Hill for years.”

A biography page of Lesslie said he and his wife of 35 years raised four children.

Dr Robert Lesslie has been practicing in Rock Hill since 1981, according to the Riverview website. He received his degree at the Medical University of South Carolina and has worked in the surrounding Rock Hill area and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Rock Hill is a city in northernmost South Carolina about 25 miles (40km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The investigation is ongoing.