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Former NFL player killed five people in US mass shooting: police

Columbia: A gunman who killed five people in South Carolina, including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren, was former NFL player Phillip Adams, authorities say.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said police had not yet determined a motive for the shooting at the doctor’s home in Rock Hill, saying: “There’s nothing right now that makes sense to any of us.”

Phillip Adams, pictured sitting on the sidelines for the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.

Phillip Adams, pictured sitting on the sidelines for the San Francisco 49ers in 2010.Credit:AP

Tolson said evidence left at the scene of the shooting on Wednesday night, local time, led them to Adams as a suspect. He said they went to Adams’ parents’ home, which is nearby, evacuated them and then tried to talk Adams out of the house. Eventually, they found him dead in a bedroom, he said.

Dr Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, the York County coroner’s office said.

A man who had been working at the home, James Lewis, 38, from Gaston, was found shot to death outside, and a sixth person was hospitalised with “serious gunshot wounds”, York County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesperson Trent Faris said.

Adams, 33, played in 78 NFL games over five seasons for six teams. A safety and special teams player from South Carolina State, he joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick.

Rarely a starter, Adams also was with New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets, finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie late in the 2010 season, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury that required surgery that included several screws being inserted into the leg. He never played for the 49ers again, getting released just before the 2011 season began and signing with New England. He moved next to the Raiders, where he had two concussions in a three-game period in 2012.

Whether Adams suffered long-lasting injuries from his concussions as a player wasn’t immediately clear. Adams would not have been eligible for testing as part of a broad settlement between the league and its former players over such injuries, because he hadn’t retired by 2014.

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