Former NFL player Phillip Adams kills five, himself in South Carolina shooting spree

Former NFL defensive back Phillip Adams has shot and killed five people in South Carolina, before committing suicide.

Local media reports Adams, 32, killed Dr Robert Lesslie, 70, wife Barbara, 69, grandchildren Adah, 9, and Noah, 5, and James Lewis, 38, in the city of Rock Hill.

The York County Sheriff's coroner's office says Dr Lesslie and his wife were pronounced dead at the scene, and Lewis, who had been working at the home, was found shot to death outside.

Police reportedly tracked Adams to a home near the shooting site, where law enforcement officials says Adams is believed to have killed himself, once police had him surrounded.

Adams is thought to have been treated by the doctor before the shooting.

A sixth person, reportedly a maintenance worker from the Lesslie home, was hospitalised with "serious gunshot wounds".

Adams played for six NFL sides including the New York Jets
Adams played for six NFL sides including the New York Jets Photo credit: Getty

In an interview with Charlotte, North Carolina, TV station WCNC, Alonzo Adams - who was identified as Phillip Adams' father - said his son "was a good kid".

"I think the football messed him up."

Alonzo Adams adds that they were praying for the family. He adds about his son: "He didn't talk much and he didn't bother nobody."

Adams starred in football and basketball at Rock Hill High School, then attended South Carolina State University. 

The San Francisco 49ers selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Adams played in 78 career games (11 starts) in the NFL and recorded 128 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble with New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and 49ers.

Adams last played in 2015 with the Falcons.

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Reuters