The motive for a mass shooting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which left five people dead, is still unknown, authorities said at a press conference Thursday.
“There isn’t any of this right now that doesn’t make sense to any of us,” York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said.
MPs received two 911 calls around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, reporting a shooting at the home of Robert Lesslie, a prominent South Carolina doctor. During a call, a neighbor said he heard 20 gunshots at the residence.
The victims were identified by the county coroner’s office as 70-year-old Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69; her two grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5; and a man who worked at home, James Lewis, 38.
A sixth person identified as Robert Shook, another technician working at the time, was taken to hospital with serious gunshot wounds. Shook remains in critical condition, Tolson said Thursday.
The suspect is former NFL player Phillip Adams. Authorities uncovered evidence at the scene that “quickly” linked the suspect to the shooting. Adams died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday morning.
Tolson said he couldn’t confirm at this time whether there was a doctor-patient relationship between Adams and Lesslie.
“We still have many questions, including why this happened,” Tolson said.
Adams’ father, Alonzo Adams, told WCNC-TV that Lesslie was Alonzo’s doctor and he described the family as “good people.” He extended his prayers to the family, adding that he did not know “what had happened”.
“I can tell he was a good kid,” said Alonzo Adams, referring to his son. “I think football ruined him. I don’t think he ever hurt anyone.”
Adams was a cornerback in the NFL for five years. After being drafted in 2010, he played for the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons.
Adams’ agent Scott Casterline described him as a “great” person and said he “must not be on his right mind.”
“All of us who knew Phillip are shaking our heads,” Casterline told the Associated press. “He struggled to get away from the game. I tried to get him to come to Texas. I was going to get him a job, but he wouldn’t leave South Carolina because he had a son. a good father. “
Tolson began Thursday’s press conference by reading aloud a statement from members of the Lesslie family.
“We are truly in the midst of the unimaginable,” they said. “The losses we are suffering cannot be pronounced at this time. Although we know that there are no answers that will satisfy the question ‘why’, we are sure of one thing: we do not cry like those hopeless.