Attempted mass murder The brain of an ex-NFL player was scanned for signs of trauma.
According to a news release, the brain of Phillip Adams, the former NFL player who murdered a South Carolina physician, three family members, and a repairman before killing himself, will be screened for a degenerative condition that has been linked to violent mood swings and other cognitive disabilities in a variety of pro athletes.
Sabrina Gast, York County Coroner, told McClatchy Newspapers on Friday that she had received permission from Adams' relatives for the treatment to be used in his autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina. According to the hospital's website, it will collaborate with Boston University's chronic traumatic encephalopathy clinic, which performs studies on the long-term effects of repeated brain damage in athletes and military personnel.
Ms Gast did not immediately return The Associated Press' phone calls and emails, nor did she respond to a message left in person at her office.
According to police, Adams went to the home of Robert and Barbara Lesslie on Wednesday and shot and killed them, as well as two of their grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, as well as James Lewis, a 38-year-old Gaston air conditioning technician who was working there. Additionally, he fired Mr Lewis' colleague, 38-year-old Robert Shook of Cherryville, North Carolina, who was flown to a Charlotte hospital in critical condition and "fighting for his life," according to a cousin, Heather Smith Thompson.
Sheriff Kevin Tolson of York County said investigators had not determined why Adams committed the assault.
Mr Tolson said that investigators identified Adams as a suspect based on evidence left at the shooting scene. He said that they went to Adams' parents' house, evacuated them, and then attempted to coax Adams out. They eventually discovered him dead in a bedroom, he said, from a single gunshot wound to the head.
According to an individual briefed on the investigation who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, Robert Lesslie handled Adams, who lived near the Lesslies' home with his parents.
Mr Tolson does not confirm that Adams was a patient of the doctor.
Results from examinations for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which can only be diagnosed during an autopsy, will not be available for months. The condition has been observed in retired military personnel, football players, and boxers, as well as those who have sustained repetitive head trauma. A recent research discovered evidence of the disease in the brains of 110 of 111 NFL players whose brains were examined.
Several years ago, the league agreed to pay former players US$1 billion (A$1.3 billion) to settle claims that they were misled about the risks of football.
Adams, 32, appeared in 78 NFL games for six different teams over the course of six seasons. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State and went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland, and the New York Jets before concluding his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
Adams sustained a major ankle injury as a rookie in 2010, necessitating surgery that involved the insertion of multiple screws into his leg. He never returned to the 49ers, as he was cut prior to the start of the 2011 season. Later in his career with the Raiders, he suffered two concussions over the course of three games in 2012.
It was unclear if he had long-lasting concussion-related injuries. Adams may not have been eligible for monitoring as part of a broader settlement reached between the league and former players over such injuries, as he had not retired by 2014.
Adams' father told a Charlotte television station that he blamed football for his son's issues, which he believes may have contributed to Wednesday's violence.
“I can tell you that he is a good boy — he was a good kid, and I believe football fucked him up,” Alonzo Adams told WCNC-TV. “He didn't say anything and he didn't annoy anyone.”
Adams' sister told USA Today that her brother's "mental health deteriorated rapidly and dramatically" in recent years and that the family found "highly troubling" symptoms of mental illness, such as an escalating temper and a disregard for personal hygiene.
Gerald Dixon, a former NFL linebacker who retired in 2001, said Adams was a team leader in high school but still mild-mannered and modest.
Dixon added that he met with Adams a few months ago and saw no symptoms of depression or other mental health problems. “Whenever I spoke with him, he was always cheerful and reminiscing about old times "'He mentioned.
Dixon agreed that repeated head hits received during the game may have had an adverse effect on Adams, as they have on a number of other NFL players Dixon has met who were later diagnosed with CTE.
“You never know what goes on in a person's mind after one of these concussions,” Dixon said.
According to agent Scott Casterline, Adams did not take advantage of readily available physical and mental health services for ex-players.
“We urged him to investigate all of his disability choices, but he refused,” Casterline said, adding that Adams' career was harmed by the 2010 ankle injury. “I was aware he was in pain and missing football, but he refused to follow health advice given to him. He said that he would, but he did not."