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The deaths of a prominent South Carolina doctor and four other people, including two children, were quickly met with heartache and frustration.
Officials say 70-year-old Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, two of their grandchildren and a worker at the doctor’s Rock Hill home were killed Wednesday. A sixth person was injured.
Former NFL player Phillip Adams was identified as a suspect in the case, the Rock Hill Herald reported. He later died by suicide.
News of the killings stunned the community located about 27 miles south of Charlotte.
Ralph Norman, a Republican who represents the Rock Hill area in Congress, said Dr. Lesslie and his wife, Barbara, were close friends.
“To know the Lesslie family is to love them,” Norman wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Other South Carolina politicians also expressed their sympathies.
“Very sad news coming from York County overnight,” Republican Sen. Tim Scott said on Twitter. “My deepest sympathies and prayers are with Dr. Lesslie’s family and the Rock Hill community.”
“It’s difficult for me to even wrap my head around such a senseless tragedy,” Joe Cunningham, a Democrat who represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives for two years, wrote on Twitter. “While we don’t yet know all the details, I am devastated for this family and everyone who knew them in York County.”
The North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Action Fund released a statement Thursday, saying they “are deeply saddened by the tragedy.”
Some social media users noted this is the second time in recent days that a former professional football player was linked to a shooting case.
Ex-Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph, who played in the NFL for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, was charged with first-degree murder this week. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Rudolph shot at four people, killing one, the Miami Herald reported.