Family of football player who killed 6 sues SC State University
ROCK HILL, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The family of former NFL player Phillip Adams, who killed six people in 2021 before taking his own life, has filed a lawsuit against his alma mater.
After the mass killing in Rock Hill, doctors posthumously diagnosed Adams, who played college football for SC State University before going pro, with stage two chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The brain disease is common in football players who have suffered repeated blows to the head.
The lawsuit says Adams sustained head trauma while playing for the SCSU Bulldogs from 2006 to 2009. The family claims the university didn’t properly treat Adams’ head injuries or educate him about the long-term health impacts he could suffer.
While research about CTE is still in its early stages, the Alzheimer’s Association says it has been linked with personality changes, erratic behavior, aggression and suicide.
A spokesperson for SC State said the university does not comment on pending litigation.
Adams is survived by a son, who the lawsuit says has suffered “extreme and severe mental shock and suffering, extreme mental anguish, grief, and sorrow, and has lost the companionship of his father.”
On Apr. 7, 2021, Adams shot and killed Dr. Robert Lesslie and his wife Barbara at their home on Marshall Road along with their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah and 5-year-old Noah. He also killed two HVAC repairmen working there, James Lewis and Robert Shook.
Adams was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home, approximately a quarter of a mile down the road.
The motive for the shooting remains unknown.
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