This is the first celebrity mass shooter that I’m aware of.
It’s a pretty novel story, which the media is completely burying with George Floyd, Joe Biden’s gun control agenda, DMX and of course, the deadly coronavirus.
A prominent local doctor, his wife and their two young grandchildren were among those killed Wednesday in a shooting at their home in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The suspected gunman was identified as former NFL player Phillip Adams, who later killed himself, York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said in a press conference Thursday. Police said they found the suspect late Wednesday in a nearby home after an hourslong manhunt.
Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home. Neighbor Allison Hope said she saw police surround the house and spend hours negotiating with Adams using a loudspeaker. She said police asked Adams to come out and promised to get his disabled mother out safely, before Adams shot himself.
A fifth person working at the family’s home was also found dead, and a sixth person was injured.
If he’d have killed other black people, this story wouldn’t be as buried.
But the victims were all white. They are also apparently from a well-connected family, which makes the whole thing even stranger.
Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, Barbara Lesslie, 69, and their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the York County coroner’s office.
James Lewis, 38, was found dead outside. Lewis was working at the home at the time, police said.
The sixth victim is Robert Shook, who is in very critical condition, Tolson said. He is an employee of GSM Services, the HVAC company where Lewis was also employed.
U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., who attended Rock Hill High School, said he and his wife were close friends with the Lesslies.
“To know the Lesslie family is to love them,” Norman tweeted. “Through the decades, they made such an incredible impact on our area and the lives of countless people — more than they could have ever known.”
“Dr. Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows,” said Trent Faris, York County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, in a press conference.
Lesslie founded two urgent care centers in the area and was also an author and columnist. For seven years, Lesslie wrote a weekly medical column for the Charlotte Observer, and his 2008 book, “Angels in the ER,” told the stories of ER patients and staff. When asked once if he truly believe angels roamed the ER, he responded on Facebook.
Lesslie and his wife have four children and eight grandchildren, according to a website bio. They lived in Rock Hill, South Carolina with their golden retriever, several miniature horses, goats, donkeys and chickens. He enjoyed golfing and bagpiping.
Lesslie was also an active member of and served as an elder at a local church in Rock Hill, his bio states. There, he and his wife taught Sunday school and sang in the church choir. They also worked with Camp Joy, an outreach program for people with disabilities. He enjoyed mentoring high school and college students considering careers in medicine.
At Camp Joy, where he volunteered for more than 20 years, Lesslie would spend a week every summer serving as camp physician, according to Brent Turner, executive director of the organization that oversees the camp.
Lesslie and his wife, who served as Bible teacher, always worked at the camp in Flat Rock, nestled in the North Carolina mountains. They made the summer visits a family affair, bringing their children and grandchildren as fellow volunteers.
What was posted on his website after the shooting was both inspirational and deeply sad.
After the shooting, Robert Lesslie’s website administrator posted on his Facebook page with words that Lesslie had written in his book:
“One day, when I depart this body and find myself in the presence of the Lord, my time, however it will be measured, will be filled with the praises and the wonder of Jesus,” he wrote. “I know that I will once again be able to hug my mother and walk and talk with my father. There are a lot of people I want to see as well — family and friends, grandparents, some of whom I never met on this side.”
“We have no idea what Heaven will look like, only that it will be perfect,” he continued. “I will find myself walking with Barbara in a field of lush, green grass, surrounded by gently rising conifer-cloaked hills.”
I just have to say it: Dr. Lesslie is a much more sympathetic figure than George Floyd.
George Floyd was a drug addict and multiple felon who once threatened to shoot a pregnant woman in the stomach.
The shooter is about as sympathetic as George Floyd.
The suspect was identified by Tolson as former NFL player Phillip Adams, a defensive back who played in 78 games over six years in the league.
Adams, 32, was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by the San Francisco 49ers and went on to play for them and five other teams, finishing his career in 2015 with the Atlanta Falcons.
He starred at South Carolina State, where he played cornerback, but suffered several injuries during his pro career, including a severe ankle injury and two concussions in three games in 2012.
Adams’ sister, Lauren Adams, told USA TODAY that he used to be laid-back but his personality changed abruptly a couple of years ago and he became argumentative.
“His mental health degraded fast and terribly bad. There was unusual behavior,” she said. “We definitely did notice signs of mental illness that was extremely concerning, that was not like we had ever seen. And it was not the person that we knew.”
Lauren Adams said two weeks ago her brother talked about his resentment toward the NFL in its handling of his disability claim and his belief the league was making it difficult for him to collect on the claim.
“I think he got upset about that and that’s kind of where it started, with him kind of feeling like the whole world was against him,” she said. “We just started to notice a huge change and you could tell talking to him that something was not right.”
Phillip Adams’ parents live near the doctor’s home, and he has been treated by the doctor in the past, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly told the Associated Press.
Here’s Adams’ father, who said, quote “he’s a good kid, he’s a good kid – I think the football messed him up.”
(I’m sure the father is struggling as well – I wouldn’t make light of that. But what an explanation.)
It’s all incredibly bizarre.
It’s also fascinating, which just once again shows that no, the media is not all about clicks and ratings – they are about pushing an agenda.
It’s Gonna be Real Acrobatics to Hold Together the Narrative of Black Victimization as They’re Slaughtering Us
To bury a story of this magnitude is truly incredible.
But there are 21 stories on the front page of CNN – and this is not one of them.
I have to believe that all things being equal “famous sports player kills local celebrity doctor and his entire family before engaging in hours-long negotiation with police and eventually shooting himself” would be in the top 21 most important national news stories of the day.
It’s not in the top 24 on the New York Times:
Not in the top 23 on the Washington Post:
I’m sure all these outlets reported on the story, but they’re just not featuring it. And with Facebook and Twitter able to rank and downrank stories – this just disappears.
This is the sort of thing we’ve talked about happening, now that the media is so totally locked down, with so much censorship of social media – they can bury anything, and make it like it didn’t happen.
Imagine that a year later, we are still talking about the horror of this one disgusting black criminal who died of a drug overdose while being arrested by a white guy. Meanwhile, a black guy wipes out a pillar of the community – and his family – and it’s crickets.
This should be a moment when you start to realize how bad things really are.
This is what “exterminating whiteness by ensuring it has no bodies to inhabit” looks like.
The killing is just getting started.