Phillip Adams, the former NFL player who killed five people in a South Carolina shooting and then fatally turned the weapon on himself, will be examined for CTE.
Adams was responsible for the deadly shooting near Rock Hill, South Carolina that killed five people, including a physician and his two grandchildren. Police later found the 32-year-old several houses down and after several hours, Adams fatally shot himself.
Rep. Ralph Norman told Yahoo that doctor Robert Lesslie had treated Adams in the past and later stopped providing him with a specific medication. Norman said that is what law enforcement told him led to the deadly shooting, which led to the deaths of Lesslie, his wife, their two grandchildren and a worker outside the home.
Adams’ father came forward told reporters that football messed his son up, suggesting that years of playing the physical game played a factor in the rapid deterioration of his mental health.
York County Coroner Sabrina Gast released a statement on Friday, via ESPN, announcing that she received permission from the family to test Adams’ brain. The examination, which will receive assistance from Boston University, will seek to discover whether or not Adams had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The term is used to describe the degeneration of the brain caused by repeated head trauma and testing can only be done in an autopsy. After years of denying there was a correlation, the NFL acknowledged in 2016 that playing football was linked to CTE and professional football players were at a higher risk for it.
Adams was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He played football at Rock Hill High School then signed on with South Carolina State. A seventh-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, he bounced around the NFL from 2010-’15.