Autopsy: Severe Brain Trauma In Ex-NFL Player Who Shot 6


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A York County coroner says an autopsy shows unusually severe brain disease in the frontal lobe of the former NFL player accused of fatally shooting six people in Rock Hill, South Carolina before killing himself in April.

“The diagnosis of CTE is very specific. There is no other disorder that causes those changes in the brain,” explained Dr. Ann Mckee, a Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Boston University.

She says the results show Phillip Adams’ brain had clear signs of brain damage and CTE. Adams, a Rock Hill native,  played football for 20 years, including six seasons in the NFL.

“It was different in that it was unusually severe in both frontal lobes,” Dr. McKee explained.

CTE, which is caused by repeated head trauma, has been diagnosed in dozens of NFL players following their deaths. It leads to depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, and impulsivity.

“The findings of this study do not in totality give us the why of what happened on April 7th, it does give us a small piece of a more complex puzzle that is still under investigation,” said Sabrina Gast, the York County Coroner.

Authorities say Adams shot and killed Rock Hill doctor Robert Lesslie, his wife, two of their grandchildren as well as two HVAC techs working at the home back in April.

Lisa McHale, with the concussion legacy foundation, read a statement on behalf of Adams’ family saying they hoped to bring awareness to the issue.

“ We do know he was desperately seeking help from the NFL, but was denied all claims due to his inability to remember things and to handle seemingly simple tasks such as traveling hours away to see doctors and going through evaluations,” read McHale.



Original Story (12/14/21):

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A coroner is set to release the results of a degenerative brain disease test on the former NFL player who was accused of fatally shooting six people in Rock Hill, South Carolina before killing himself in April.

The family of Phillip Adams agreed shortly after his death to have his brain tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

The degenerative disease is linked to head trauma and concussions. Authorities said Adams killed a prominent Rock Hill physician, his wife, two of the couple’s grandchildren and two air conditioning technicians working at the couple’s home.

Police tracked him to his parents’ home where they found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


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