Ex-NFL Player's Meds Were Reportedly Stopped Before Shootings In this handout image provided by the NFL, Phillip Adams of the San Francisco 49ers poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 09 April 2021 11:44 AM
Former NFL defensive back Phillip Adams, who shot and killed five people in South Carolina before fatally shooting himself, was reportedly off his medication before the murders.
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., in an interview with WBTV, said Adams’ doctor, Robert Lesslie — one of the victims of the shootings — had stopped giving Adams medication.
Norman said he was close friends with the doctor.
"My understanding [is] he was treating him, and had, from my understanding, stopped giving him medicine, and that’s what triggered the killings," Norman said. "I heard that from law enforcement."
The New York Post said Adams, 32, forced his way into Lesslie’s home in Rock Hill, killing the 70-year-old doctor, his wife, and their two grandchildren.
The former defensive back also shot two air-conditioning contractors outside the doctor’s home, killing one, before taking his own life.
"I had just seen Robert at the bank on Monday," Norman said. "My wife had lunch with Barbara Lesslie, his wife, on Friday. We were in a supper club together. We had known them for over 40 years.
"He was a wonderful doctor. He was involved in so many activities. He was head of the ER for 15 years and just a real stalwart of the community."
Adams had played as a defensive back for a number of teams including the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons. During that time, he reportedly suffered multiple injuries, including concussions and a broken left ankle.
York County Sheriff’s Office's spokesperson Trent Faris said that deputies were called around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday to the doctor’s home, and spent hours searching for the shooter before finding him in a nearby home.
Meanwhile, Adams’ agent Scott Casterline said those close to Adams had encouraged him to get help.
"We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it," Casterline 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."
But Casterline expressed shock over the bloody rampage. He noted his former client did not drink or do drugs.
"This is so unlike him," Casterline said. "He had to not be in his right mind, obviously.
"He had an injury his rookie year. Some teams wrote him off and he had that stigma of a guy who was hurt. It was hard for him to walk away from the game, especially a guy as dedicated as he was."