Shooter who killed 5 in South Carolina was San Francisco 49ers draftee, defensive back

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Andrew Dys
·2 min read
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The suspect who shot six people in South Carolina on Wednesday, killing five before later killing himself, has been identified as former NFL player Phillip Adams, the York County coroner and sources told The (Rock Hill) Herald.

Adams, 32, played for the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets in a six-year career that began in 2010.

He was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by the 49ers. He mostly played special teams for the 49ers before moving on to the Patriots and Seahawks in 2011.

Sources told The Herald that Adams was found by police in his family’s home, down the street from the shooting site in Rock Hill, South Carolina. After police surrounded the home, Adams is believed to have shot himself, said Sabrina Gast, York County coroner.

Law enforcement sources said Adams ’mother was inside the family home during part of a standoff with police. Adams’ mother was safely removed from the home by police before Adams was found dead, sources told The Herald.

His mother was a former teacher in the Rock Hill school district who was disabled after a car crash in 2010, The Herald reported at that time.

Adams attended South Carolina State University after starring in football and basketball at Rock Hill High School.

Phillip Adams, center, is surrounded by teammates Devin Ware, left, Ladarious Moore, right, and Tori Gurley, behind, as they celebrate winning the Big 16 state championship against Stratford in 2004.
Phillip Adams, center, is surrounded by teammates Devin Ware, left, Ladarious Moore, right, and Tori Gurley, behind, as they celebrate winning the Big 16 state championship against Stratford in 2004.

During the 2012 NFL season with the Raiders, he suffered two concussions over a three-game stretch, which, combined with a groin injury, eventually ended his season. He also had a gruesome broken left ankle in 2010.

Adams was charged with simple assault and battery in 2009, and was acquitted of the charge in a bench trial, according to court records.

Earlier this month, Adams was convicted of several traffic charges, including driving under suspension and failure to maintain proof of insurance, records show.

Rock Hill is about 25 miles south of Charlotte, North Carolina.

FOOTBALL CAREER

During his time at South Carolina State, Adams played 42 games over four years. He was a 2009 first-team All-MEAC selection and had 48 tackles and a team-high 11 passes defensed his senior year. As a junior the year prior, Adams had a team-high five interceptions. He also returned punts at times during his college career.

Adams played in the NFL for six seasons as a cornerback, starting 11 games and playing in 78. His last season was 2015. In his career, he had five interceptions and 128 tackles. Adams also played on special teams, including as a punt returner.

During the 2012 season with the Raiders, he suffered two concussions over a three-game stretch, which, combined with a groin injury, eventually ended his season.