What we know about Phillip Adams, gunman ID’d in SC mass shooting

The alleged gunman in a mass shooting that killed five people in South Carolina — including a doctor and two of his grandchildren — was former NFL player Phillip Adams, a source close to the investigation told the Associated Press Thursday.

Adams, 32, then killed himself with a .45-caliber weapon early Thursday, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Adams, a former defensive back, last played in 2015 for the Atlanta Falcons. He also spent seasons with San Francisco, Oakland and the New York Jets, according to a pro football reference website.

During his NFL career, he suffered multiple injuries, including concussions and a broken left ankle, the Associated Press reported.


The sportsman, a Rock Hill native, attended South Carolina State University and was drafted by San Francisco in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played 78 games in his six-year career.

Ex-NFL player Phillip Adams has been identified as the suspected shooter.
Ex-NFL player Phillip Adams has been identified as the suspected shooter.
Al Pereira

His parents live near the Rock Hill home of Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and had been treated by the doctor.

Hours earlier, investigators say he killed Lesslie and four others, Lesslie’s wife, Barbara, 69, two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie.

Phillip Adams is suspected of killing four people in a mass shooting.
Phillip Adams is suspected of killing five people in a mass shooting in South Carolina.

A fifth victim, James Lewis, 38, who was working at the home at the time, was also fatally shot. A sixth person, who was not immediately identified, was hospitalized with a serious gunshot wound, authorities said.