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Ex-NFL pro who killed 6 in South Carolina was ID'd by phone found at scene

South Carolina Shooting Report
Posted at 7:34 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 22:34:31-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Newly released search warrants show that police identified a former NFL player as the primary suspect in a mass shooting at a South Carolina home earlier this month after finding his iPhone at the house.

Authorities say that Phillip Adams fatally shot six people, including a prominent physician in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on April 7 before killing himself.

Robert and Barbara Lesslie, two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie, and 38-year-old air conditioning technician from Gaston James Lewis, were shot and killed by Adams at the Lesslie's residence, The Associated Press reported.

Law enforcement officials found Adams at his parents' home, where they evacuated his parents and tried to convince him to come out.

In a bedroom dead of a single gunshot wound, Adams was found, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson told The AP.

Authorities also searched Adams' parents' home and found numerous notebooks "with cryptic writing with different designs and emblems."

Adams' brain is now being examined for a possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military.

Results from the tests for CTE won't be available for months.

The disorder is typically found in those who've been subjected to repeated head trauma.

A study in 2017 found signs of the disease in 110 of 111 NFL players whose brains were inspected.

In an interview with a Charlotte television station, Adams' father said that he blamed football for his son's problems, The AP reported.

In an interview with USA Today, Adams' sister said that her brother's "mental health degraded fast and terribly bad" in recent years.

The AP reported that family members noticed "extremely concerning" signs of mental illness, including an escalating temper and personal hygiene neglect.