LE SCAN SPORT – The investigation continues to explain the circumstances of this tragedy which occurred in North Carolina on Thursday, near the home of the parents of this 32-year-old former player.
A former professional football player is suspected of killing five people, including two children, on Wednesday before committing suicide in the US state of South Carolina, the local sheriff said Thursday. Former San Francisco 49ers player Phillip Adams is said to have killed the victims with a gun in the late afternoon in his hometown of Rock Hill, York County, before returning to the family home, where he s ‘committed suicide shortly after midnight.
“We don’t yet know why it happened”
“We don’t yet know why it happened,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “None of this makes sense.” The five victims are a 70-year-old doctor, his 69-year-old wife and two of their grandchildren, aged 9 and 5, as well as a 38-year-old man, an employee of a boiler company who worked in the outside their house.
Phillip Adams with the Oakland Raiders in 2013.
The doctor, Robert Lesslie, was a “pillar” of the community, said the sheriff. Dr Lesslie had founded a health center nearby, according to local media. “The losses that afflict us are unspeakable,” wrote the families in a statement read by Kevin Tolson during the press briefing. A sixth person, a second technician on the scene, was hospitalized, Tolson said.
Police quickly identified Adams as a suspect after arriving at the crime scene, using clues, the sheriff said. After removing the parents of Phillip Adams, who did not know what had happened, from their home, the police tried to reach the former American football player who remained in the house, said Mr. Tolson. The police then entered the building and discovered the body of Mr. Adams, who died of a self-inflicted injury.
“Screwed up” by American football
This quintuple murder comes as the United States has faced an increase in gun violence since last year, and was rocked by two killings in early 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia and Boulder, Colorado. President Joe Biden, who on Thursday unveiled a limited plan to fight guns, blasted the “epidemic” and “international shame” of gun violence in the United States. In an address to the White House to outline his plan, he cited the Rock Hill shooting as an example of such rampant violence.
Asked by local television station WCNC, Alonzo Adams, the suspect’s father, said, “I think (American) football screwed him up.” Mr Adams told WCNC that his son, who played 78 NFM appearances in six seasons before retiring, recently left his home to relocate with his parents.
A former college athlete, Phillip Adams had seen his professional career marked by injuries, including concussions. He had played for the 49ers, as well as the New England Patriots and New York Jets, in particular, before ending his career in 2015 with the Atlanta Falcons.