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Police confirm ex-NFL player Phillip Adams as Rock Hill shooter – follow live

Phillip Adams #28 of the Oakland Raiders looks into the crowd during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on 8 December 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey

(Getty Images)

A gunman who shot dead five people in Rock Hill, South Carolina on Thursday before taking his own life has been identified by the Associated Press as former NFL player Phillip Adams.

Alonzo Adams, the former NFL player’s father, confirmed to a local publication that his son shot dead five people before taking his own life on Wednesday. “I think the football messed him up,” he said.

Among the five people killed in the shooting were two children, and a prominent local doctor who is believed to have treated Mr Adams previously.

York County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesperson Trent Faris did not comment on the identity of the shooter, but confirmed that the doctor who had been killed was local physician Robert Lesslie.

“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.”

The other victims of the shooting have been named as Dr Lesslie’s wife Barbara Lesslie, 69, and the couple’s grandchildren, nine-year-old Adah Lesslie, and five-year-old Noah Lesslie. The fifth victim was named as James Lewis, 38, while a sixth person was shot and has been hospitalised, AP reported.

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Phillip Adams ‘lived close’ to victims, police say

“We learned that Phillip Adams lived close” to the victims, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said during a press conference on Thursday.

Mr Adams reportedly grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

He was found in his parents home early Thursday morning following a shooting at a renowned doctor’s residence on Wednesday afternoon.

Police found Mr Adams dead in the home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Alonzo Adams, the former NFL player’s father, told a local publication on Thursday that he knew Dr Robert Lesslie, who was one of the victims in the shooting, and was previously a patient of the doctor.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 19:38

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Police confirm suspected gunman as Phillip Adams

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson confirmed the identity of the suspected gunman as former NFL player Phillip Adams on Thursday during a press conference.

“Once the investigation began we were able to develop Phillip Adams as a suspect in this incident,” Mr Tolson said.

There was a standoff between deputies and Mr Adams’ parents home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, once it was determined that he was the suspected gunman. Deputies were able to safely remove Mr Adams’ father and mother from the house, Mr Tolson said.

Then at about 2am local time on Thursday morning, Mr Tolson said that the former NFL player was killed with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“We did not hear any gunshots once we arrived,” Mr Tolson said when asked about when Mr Adams likely shot himself.

Reports have indicated that Mr Adams was potentially a patient of Dr Robert Lesslie, who was one of the five victims in the mass shooting. But Mr Tolson said investigators had no indication yet that Mr Adams was previously a patient to Dr Lesslie.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 19:29

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Investigators share two 911 calls from mass shooting

The York County Sheriff’s Department started its press conference on Thursday with two 911 calls that happened around 4:44pm local time on Wednesday during the mass shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The second phone call came from a nearby neighbor who was cutting his grass at the time of the shooting.

“I think maybe four people .. I was cutting grass out in the yard and I heard shots … about 20 … it was automatic,” the anonymous caller told the 911 operator.

This caller then identified a “black guy in black clothes” who “walked away from the house” after the shooting.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said that deputies arrived at the house about eight minutes following the two 911 calls.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 19:22

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Press conference to start soon with police

Investigators with the York County Sheriff’s Department will soon hold a press conference to update the public about the mass shooting that took place in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The identity of the suspected gunman has yet to be revealed by investigators, but it was expected they might name the suspect during the press conference. Former NFL player Phillip Adams was identified by the Associated Press as the suspected gunman.

Investigators have yet to reveal motive as well.

The investigation is currently ongoing into the shooting that occurred overnight on Wednesday.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 18:50

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Suspected gunman’s father calls him a ‘good kid’ following shooting

Alonzo Adams, the father of Phillip Adams, has spoken out following the mass shooting that took place in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

He described his son as a “good kid” while saying that the former NFL player was responsible for shooting dead five people before shooting himself.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 18:24

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Father of suspected gunman speaks out following mass shooting: ‘Football messed him up’

The father of a former NFL player who was suspected of shooting dead five people in South Carolina has spoken out.

Alonzo Adams, the father of Phillip Adams, said that his son shot dead five people before taking his own life on Wednesday, WCNC reports.

“I can say he’s a good kid,” Mr Adams said about his son. “I think the football messed him up.”

The York County Sheriff’s Office has yet to confirm the identity of the suspected gunman, who was revealed as Phillip Adams by the Associated Press. But the local coroner’s office said that the former football player was found dead in his father’s home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The suspected gunman was accused of killing Dr Robert Lesslie, Dr Lesslie’s wife Barbara Lesslie, 69, and the couple’s grandchildren, nine-year-old Adah Lesslie, and five-year-old Noah Lesslie. The fifth victim was named as James Lewis, 38.

“I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm,” Mr Adams said about his son, adding that he knew some of the victims. “All I can say is we pray for the family. [Dr Lesslie] used to be my doctor a long time ago. I know they were good folks down there. We’re gonna keep them in our prayers.”

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 18:03

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Senator Tim Scott offers his condolences to the victims from Rock Hill shooting

Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has offered his condolences to the five victims who were shot in the Rock Hill shooting that happened overnight on Wednesday.

“Very sad news coming from York County overnight. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with Dr. Lesslie’s family and the Rock Hill community,” Mr Scott said.

South Carolina’s other US Senator, Lindsey Graham, has yet to publicly comment on the mass shooting.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 17:41

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Joe Biden calls gun violence an ‘epidemic’ in speech

President Joe Biden gave a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House on Thursday about gun violence, hours after the deadly shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment,” he said.

Mr Biden also briefly mentioned the shooting that just took place in South Carolina, as well as the ones in Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia, in March.

“The idea is just bizarre to suggest the things we’re recommending are against the Constitution,” Mr Biden said, while pushing for gun reform.

He was expected to sign several executive orders on Thursday to address gun violence in the United States.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 17:23

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Watch live as Joe Biden delivers remarks on gun violence

Watch live as Joe Biden delivers remarks on gun violence

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 16:52

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Five people, including two children, killed in mass shooting

There were five people who were killed on Wednesday during a shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Dr Robert Lesslie, 70, was a prominent doctor in the small town and revealed as one of the five victims in the shooting.

The other victims of the shooting have been named as Dr Lesslie’s wife Barbara Lesslie, 69, and the couple’s grandchildren, nine-year-old Adah Lesslie, and five-year-old Noah Lesslie. The fifth victim was named as James Lewis, 38.

A sixth person was also shot and has yet to be identified. The person was hospitalised with “serious gunshot wounds,” the York County Sheriff’s Department said.

The suspected gunman, who was identified by the Associated Press as former NFL player Phillip Adams, reportedly killed himself following the shooting.

Danielle Zoellner8 April 2021 16:38

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