Doctor and His Grandchildren Among 5 Fatally Shot in South Carolina

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A doctor, his wife and two of their grandchildren were among five people fatally shot in a South Carolina home late Wednesday, the police said.

A suspect was found at a home near the shootings in the city of Rock Hill, S.C., and taken into custody, Trent Faris, a spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters on Thursday. The police were serving a search warrant at that home, he said.

The motive for the shooting was unclear. Officer Faris said there was no evidence of an accomplice.

The sheriff’s office, in a post on Twitter, identified four of the people killed as Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, Barbara, and two of their grandchildren. The website of a medical office where he worked said that Dr. Lesslie, 70, and his wife had eight grandchildren.

The fifth person who was fatally shot, James Lewis, had been working at the home. A sixth victim was taken to a hospital with serious gunshot wounds, Officer Faris said.

A person who answered the phone at the sheriff’s office on Thursday morning said that no officers were available to comment further on the shootings.

Officer Faris said that Dr. Lesslie had been a prominent physician in the Rock Hill community and had started a local medical center. Dr. Lesslie had practiced medicine in Rock Hill, which is about 25 miles southwest of Charlotte, N.C., since 1981 and was a specialist in emergency medicine, according to the medical office where he worked.

The doctor had also been an active member of his church, a newspaper and magazine columnist, and the author of several nonfiction books about emergency medical workers.

“I view my medical career as an opportunity to go beyond simply diagnosing and treating individual patients,” he wrote on his website. “For me, it is a way to fulfill a higher calling by meeting the real physical and emotional needs of patients.”

South Carolina is where a 21-year-old white man fatally shot nine people in 2015, at a landmark Black church in the city of Charleston.

Last year, two people were killed and at least four others wounded in a shooting in Hartsville, S.C. About six months later in Greenville, S.C., a nightclub shooting left two dead and eight wounded.

Rock Hill, where the shootings occurred on Wednesday afternoon, has a population of 67,000. Officer Faris said he felt the tragedy personally because Dr. Lesslie had been his childhood doctor.

“It doesn’t happen here,” Officer Faris said. “So it’s one of those strange things that a lot of people are going to have a hard time understanding.”

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