The former NFL player who gunned down five people in South Carolina on Wednesday, including a doctor and his family, reportedly had his medication taken away by the victim before his killing spree.
The potential motive behind the bloodshed carried out by Phillip Adams was revealed Thursday by South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman in an interview with WBTV reporter Alex Giles. Norman was close friends with the doctor, Robert Lesslie, and his family.
“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, citing law enforcement.
Adams, 32, forced his way into Lesslie’s home, 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 turning the gun on himself.
Adams, whose six-year NFL career was marred by injuries, including concussions, was described by his agent as somewhat of a loner who refused to heed the medical advice offered to him.
“We encouraged him to explore all of his disability options and he wouldn’t do it,” agent Scott 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,” Casterline said.
Still, Casterline expressed shock over Wednesday’s bloodshed and noted his former client did not drink or do drugs.
“This is so unlike him. He had to not be in his right mind, obviously,” Casterline told the news service.
Adams last played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, he opened a smoothie shop, according to Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith, who trained Adams.