Phillip Adams, a former NFL player, is accused of murdering five people in South Carolina, an official says. He committed suicide.
Investigators suspect former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people on Wednesday evening in a South Carolina home, including a prominent physician, his son, and their two young grandchildren, a South Carolina state official confirmed to CNN Thursday.
Adams, 32, was later discovered dead in a nearby home outside the city of Rock Hill, the York County coroner's office said. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained during a standoff with police.
According to sheriff's authorities, someone shot six people at the first home Wednesday afternoon, killing five and injuring one severely.
The York County sheriff's office identified the deceased as Dr. Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara Lesslie; their two grandchildren; and James Lewis, of Gastonia, North Carolina.
The deceased grandchildren were between the ages of 5 and 9, according to the county coroner's office.
Authorities later discovered a suspect in the suspect's home on the same lane, York County sheriff's officials said without elaborating early Thursday.
Trent Faris, the sheriff's spokesman, did not immediately identify the suspect, nor did he respond to reporters' early Thursday questions about whether the suspect was in custody or even alive.
According to Faris, investigators assume the gunman was the only attacker and are attempting to determine what precipitated the shooting.
"This is a horrific, tragic situation," Faris told reporters early Thursday during a news conference captured by CNN affiliate WBTV.
Adams was a defensive back in the NFL from 2010 to 2015, making appearances for the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons.
Prior to that, he attended South Carolina State University. On his SCSU biography page, he lists Rock Hill as his hometown.
The sheriff's office has announced a Thursday afternoon news conference.
Authorities were sent about 4:45 p.m. to a residence just south of Rock Hill, a city of around 73,000 residents located just across the state line from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Officers discovered the six people who had been injured. Lewis was employed at the residence, authorities said without providing further information.
Faris said a sixth person was admitted to the hospital with "severe gunshot wounds." The individual's name and diagnosis were not disclosed.
Officers discovered a suspect in a home on the same road after discovering a suspect might be nearby, Faris said.
Since 1981, the doctor had been practicing in the city.
According to the sheriff's spokesman, he knew Lesslie and that "Dr. Lesslie was my pediatrician growing up."
"Dr. Lesslie is one of those people who is well-known. He founded Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill, which has remained a fixture in the community for years "Faris remarked.
"If you're from Rock Hill or the surrounding area, the individuals involved are very famous and well-known in York County," Faris explained.
According to the joint website for the programs, Lesslie established Riverview House Calls and Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care in 1981. Lesslie states on his personal bio page that he and his wife were married for 40 years, raised four children, and have nine grandchildren.
"I enjoy writing, golf, shooting, growing fruit and hops, and bagpiping in my spare time," the bio page states.
His website includes a number of books he has written, including 2008's "Angels in the ER," a book about faith in God and the role of nurses, physicians, and others during his years working in an emergency room.
"I've been both an analyst and a physician of the human condition. There is no better place to observe than the emergency room "In 2008, he spoke with The Herald of Rock Hill about the novel. "You learn about people's motivations. Every single person has something to teach us. I tried to approach this from a spiritual perspective. It wrote itself once that became clear to me."