Phillip Adams ex NFL player shoots Dr Robert Lesslie & four others dead after he stopping pain medication. Suspect’s father blames son’s career for Rock Hill shooting spree.
The former NFL player who gunned down five people in South Carolina on Wednesday, including a doctor and his family, reportedly had his pain medication taken away by the victim before his killing spree.
The potential motive behind the shooting carnage carried out by Phillip Adams was revealed Thursday by South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman in an interview with WBTV. Norman was close friends with the doctor, Robert Lesslie, and his family.
‘My understanding [is] he was treating him, and had, from my understanding, stopped giving him medicine, and that’s what triggered the killings,’ Norman said, citing law enforcement.
Adams, 32, forced his way into Lesslie’s Rock Hill home, killing the 70-year-old doctor, his wife, Barbara and their two grandchildren, Adah, 9, and Noah, 5.
The former defensive back also shot two air-conditioning contractors outside the doctor’s home, killing one, James Lewis, 38, before returning to his parent’s home nearby and turning the gun on himself.
NEW: @RepRalphNorman tells me his understanding is that Dr. Robert Lesslie was treating Phillip Adams and had stopped giving Adams medication – he says he was told that triggered the killings – Norman says he was told this by law enforcement. @WBTV_News pic.twitter.com/5u7TzOY3iP
— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) April 8, 2021
He was hurting and missing football
Not immediately clear is what the Gastonia based doctor had been prescribing Phillips with and how recently he stopped the medications.
Adams, whose six-year NFL career was marred by injuries, including concussions, was described by his agent as somewhat of a loner who refused to heed the medical advice offered to him.
‘We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,’ agent Scott Casterline told the Associated Press.
‘I knew he was hurting and missing football but he wouldn’t take health tips offered to him. I felt he was lost without football, somewhat depressed,’ Casterline said.
Casterline expressed shock over Wednesday’s bloodshed and noted his former client did not drink or do drugs.
‘This is so unlike him. He had to not be in his right mind, obviously,’ Casterline told the news service.
Adams last played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
‘Football messed him up’
Adams’ father, Alonzo Adams, told WCNC that his son’s being a football player was to blame for the tragedy.
‘I can say he’s a good kid,’ the father told the station. ‘I think the football messed him up.’
Adams had only recently moved in with his parents in Rock Hill, just a two-minutes drive from Dr Lesslie’s home.
The athlete had a criminal history, which included an arrest in 2009 on charges of misdemeanor assault and battery, although he was not convicted. He was also arrested in Charlotte for carrying a concealed gun in 2016.
Adams’ father Alonzo said his son had recently moved to Rock Hill from Fort Mill.
‘I don’t think he ever did anybody any harm,’ the father said. ‘He didn’t talk much and he didn’t bother nobody.’
Alonzo added that he knew the Lesslie family, and that Dr Lesslie had treated him in the past.
‘All I can say is we pray for the family,’ Alonzo said. ‘He 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.’
In 2009, Adams’ mother, Phyllis Adams, was involved in a horrific car wreck that has left her severely disabled and wheelchair-bound.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, he opened a smoothie shop, according to Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith, who trained Adams.