Ex-NFL pro Phillip Adams had his medication taken away by one of the victims of his Wednesday mass shooting in South Carolina, according to reports, as further details emerged about the horrific killing spree.
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_Newspic.twitter.com/5u7TzOY3iP
— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) April 8, 2021
“My understanding [is] he was treating him, and had, from my understanding, stopped giving him medicine, and that’s what triggered the killings,” he said, citing information given to him by police.
Former San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots player Adams, 32, forced entry in Lesslie’s home where he killed him and three members of his family. A fifth man, 38-year-old James Lewis, an air conditioning contractor, was also killed at the scene, with a sixth person taken to hospital for a “serious gunshot wound“. They are understood to be in critical condition.
After a manhunt, Adams was identified as a suspect and later killed himself with a handgun inside his parents’ home, who lived in the area.
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Adams’ six-year NFL career was severely impacted by injuries but the former South Carolina State collegiate standout played in 78 games throughout his career, where he experienced several injuries including a badly broken ankle and concussion issues.
His agent, Scott Casterline, described Adams as a troubled person who refused to accept medical advice offered to him.
“We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,” he 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.”
Meanwhile, calls placed to alert emergency services to the shootings have been released. Local police 911 operators said that they received a call from someone “screaming that he had been shot“, while a second call from a nearby witness who had been cutting grass told operators that “I think there’s been a bad shooting“.
Adams was dressed in camouflage gear and a hoody when he forced entry to Lesslie’s home.
It was also revealed in the wake of the shooting that Adams had previously been charged with carrying a gun and assault, while he was also arrested in 2009 for assault and battery.
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A statement issued by the Lesslie family has spoken of the “unimaginable” grief they are experiencing.
“We are truly in the midst of the unimaginable. While we know there are no answers that will satisfy the question ‘why,’ we are sure of one thing: we do not grieve as those without hope.
They concluded by saying that their “hearts are bent towards forgiveness and peace, toward love and connectedness, toward celebration and unity.”