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Who were the victims and suspect in South Carolina slayings?

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 2:28 PM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, was among five people killed in a shooting at a home in York County.

Lesslie’s wife, 69-year-old Barbara Lesslie, and two grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie, were also killed. A fifth victim, identified as 38-year-old James Lewis, from Gaston County, was working at the home when he was fatally shot, according to the York County coroner’s office. A sixth person, identified as Robert Shook, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries from gunshot wounds.

The shooting happened just before 5 p.m. on Marshall Road. The shooting led to an hours-long search for what officers called an “armed and dangerous” suspect. Police later said that suspect, identified as former NFL pro Phillip Adams, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at another home on Marshall Road.

Lesslie was a well-known doctor and author who wrote several books related to medicine. He founded the Riverview Medical Center and Riverview House Calls/Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care.

By Thursday afternoon, a memorial was forming at Riverview Family Medicine and Urgent Care where Dr. Lesslie practiced. Community members dropped off flowers at the business, which officials said would be closed Thursday in light of the tragedy.

Dr. Lesslie and his wife, Barbara, were married for at least 40 years. Barbara Lesslie and their two grandchildren were among the five people who were killed in the shooting.

Trent Faris, with the York County Sheriff’s Office, said he personally knew Dr. Lesslie and was shocked about the news.

“We are shocked that this type of incident happened here... This is a very tragic situation,” Faris said. “I’ve lived in Rock Hill my whole life and Dr. Lesslie was my doctor. A lot of people know doctor Lesslie.”

Winthrop University President George Hynd said the Winthrop community is deeply saddened by the mass shooting. “Dr. Robert Lesslie was, for more than 25 years, our supervising physician/medical director here at Winthrop,” Hynd said. “I personally will be forever grateful to him for the advice and counsel he provided to our COVID-19 response team as we opened the campus last fall to residential living and learning.”

S.C. Rep. Ralph Norman released a statement about the tragic news, saying he and his wife were friends with the Robert and Barbara Lesslie.

“I cannot begin to describe the heartache and pain Elaine and I are feeling this morning, as we mourn the tragic loss of Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, Barbara, and their grandchildren, Adah, and Noah,” Norman said. “Robert and Barbara were close friends of ours. To know the Lesslie family is to love them. 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.”

Sole survivor fighting for his life

A sixth person injured in a shooting that killed five others in York County remains hospitalized in critical condition. Robert Shook was the only one to survive the shooting.

Shook, of Cherryville, was shot multiple times while working at a home on Marshall Road just before 5 p.m. His work partner, 38-year-old James Lewis, was killed in the shooting, officials say.

Shook’s family says he was able to call for help. He has since been in multiple surgeries.

Shook is a husband and a father to three children, age 7, 13 and 18. Shook was taken to the hospital after the shooting with serious injuries before going into surgery. He is fighting for his life, according to family.

“He is a hard-working man who put himself through school to become a certified hearing and air service worker, to provide for his family,” Shook’s cousin, Heather Michele, said. “He is just a wonderful, wonderful man.”

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