Beloved doctor, his wife and 2 grandchildren among 5 killed in York County mass shooting

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ROCK HILL, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Rock Hill community is mourning the loss of a prominent doctor and author after Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, and two grandchildren were shot and killed at his home Wednesday evening.

Dr. Lesslie received his degree from the University of South Carolina before training in Greenville, S.C., and Charlotte. He had been practicing medicine in Rock Hill since 1981.

The York County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that former NFL pro Phillip Adams was the gunman who opened fire on the family. Adams killed himself sometime after midnight, authorities said.

They said Adams’ parents lived near Dr. Lesslie’s house.

According to the York County Coroner’s Office, Adams was found deceased by police following a standoff. His cause of death is a self-inflicted gunshot wound, they said.

Sheriff’s deputies, EMS workers, and officials with the York County Coroner’s Office were called to the 4400 block of Marshall Road following a report of a shooting involving multiple people.

Upon arrival, deputies found several victims dead.

Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69. The couple was found deceased inside of their home. Their two grandchildren, Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, were also found dead from gunshot wounds in the home.

Detectives say a fifth victim was found deceased outside of the home. James Lewis, 38, was working at the home at the time of the incident. He also died from gunshot wounds. A sixth person was also reportedly shot and injured. Their condition is unknown.

Governor McMaster tweeted a response to the shooting.

“We’re 22 hours into this investigation, we’ve gathered a lot of information, we have a lot more information to gather, as to the why,” Sheriff Kevin Tolson said in the news conference on Thursday.

Below is a statement released Thursday from the affected families:

On behalf of the Lesslie, Alexander, and Kulbok clans, we would like to address the outpouring of heartbreak, shock, grief, and support from our family, friends, and community.

We are truly in the midst of the unimaginable.  The losses we are suffering cannot be uttered at this time.

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.  Our hope is found in the promise of Jesus Christ, and we are enveloped by peace that surpasses all understanding.  To that end, our hearts are bent toward forgiveness and peace.  Toward love and connectedness.  Toward celebration and unity.  We honor all of those involved in this story with prayers and compassion specifically for the Shook family, the Lewis family, and the Adams family.

As Robert Lesslie would say, when peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul.

If you would like to do something for the family,

Adah and Noah would want you to stock the free pantries and libraries in your community.

Barbara and Robert would want you to be good stewards of what you are given, leaving every place better than it was before you got there.

Adah, Noah, Barbara, Robert, and the rest of the family would ask any memorials or gifts to be sent to Camp Joy North Carolina (918 South Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, SC 29607) in honor of hope and the promise of eternity.


Investigators are still working to determine why the suspect opened fire.

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