There are still many unanswered questions, but the sister of Phillip Adams may have a few answers. Adams is the former pro football player who played for six NFL teams and gunned down five people in South Carolina on Wednesday before turning the gun on himself. Despite the violent actions of Adams, Lauren Adams insists “he wasn’t a monster.”
Who was Phillip Adams?
Phillip Adams played his college football at South Carolina State and was a seventh-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Adams, a defensive back, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers, where he played the first year of his six-year NFL career.
Adams split time with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks during the 2011 season before hooking on with the Oakland Raiders in 2012. In his first year with the Raiders, Adams had his best season, playing in 15 games and recording a career-high two interceptions. He played two seasons in Oakland, missing just one game in that stretch.
After leaving Oakland, Adams landed with the Jets in 2014. He played in 12 games, starting four, and had one interception and three passes defensed. His final season came in 2015 when he played for the Atlanta Falcons and recorded an interception. For his career, Adams finished with five interceptions.
Lauren Adams said her brother changed the last couple of years
Authorities have said there was no motive yet for the mass shooting that left Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara, 69, dead at the scene Wednesday. Also killed were their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. Another man, James Lewis, 38, was found shot to death, while Robert Shook, 38, was in critical condition, ESPN reported. Adams was later found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head. He was 32.
Lauren Adams, Phillip’s sister, said her brother’s mental health had declined the last couple of years, but he never showed signs of violent behavior. “He wasn’t a monster,” she said to USA Today. “He was struggling with his mental health.
“His mental health degraded fast and terribly bad. There was unusual behavior. I’m not going to get into all that (symptoms). We definitely did notice signs of mental illness that was extremely concerning, that was not like we had ever seen. In conversations, it would escalate to arguments, Normally it would just be a normal conversation. His temperament had changed where he was super laid back forever and all of a sudden he had that temper. You could just tell that something was off.”
Phillip Adams withdrew from football and stopped caring
Lauren Adams said when her brother’s playing days were over, he no longer wanted anything to do with football. “He really didn’t want anything to do with football,” she said, according to USA Today. “He didn’t watch it. If we were watching it, he would leave the room or ask us to turn it off.”
She also said Adams stopped caring about his hygiene, which was an eye-opener for the family, and he just got up and left without telling the family where he was going. “We wouldn’t hear from him for months,” Lauren said. “It was totally unlike him. He’s always been a family person.
“He’s always been into looking nice,” she said. “Like he’s always been like a ladies’ man. He stopped dating. It was just a lot of things that were part of his character that just disappeared. So many people come up to me or call me or text me and ask me, ‘What’s going on with your brother?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know.'” For now, those and many other questions remain unanswered.
How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.