Former NFL Player Phillip Adams Had CTE When He Killed 6 People

In Summary

An investigation was conducted on Adams’ brain tissue and it found that his CTE was “unusually severe in both frontal lobes” and likely contributed to his “behavioral abnormalities.”

Phillip Adams, who had played six years in the NFL, had stage two chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at the time he killed six people before killing himself in April of this year in South Carolina. 

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Dr. Ann McKee from Boston University conducted the investigation into Adams’ brain tissue and said that his CTE was “unusually severe in both frontal lobes” and likely contributed to his “behavioral abnormalities,” according to NBC News

“Mr. Adams’ CTE pathology was different however from the young NFL players with CTE,” McKee said. “In his frontal lobe predominance, Adams’ CTE pathology was similar to that of another young NFL player namely Aaron Hernandez.” 

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According to the Mayo Clinic, CTE “is the term used to describe brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas.” 

Additionally, it can be found in the brains of people who played football or contact sports. The symptoms include cognitive, mood and behavioral changes. 

Adams had suffered numerous injuries in his six-year career. Alonzo Adams, his father, told WCNC Charlotte when the shooting occurred that “I think the football messed him up.” 

RELATED: Police: NFL player Phillip Adams shot, killed five people in South Carolina before killing himself

The incident occurred on April 7 in Rock Hill, South Carolina where the 32-year-old allegedly shot Dr. Robert Leslie, his wife Barbara Leslie and two of their grandchildren Adah and Noah, according to NBC News. Also, he shot two air conditioning technicians, James Lewis and Robert Shook. 

Later on, Adams would pass away by suicide as he was found deceased from an apparent gunshot wound in a nearby home. 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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