“The autopsy of Mr. Adams is scheduled to be conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Routine forensic autopsies do not identify chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). We have contacted Boston University and they will be working with us to conduct a brain study to identify if Mr. Adams had CTE. We are unsure of the time frame for results at this time,” she said in the statement.
Adams killed five people and wounded a sixth Wednesday, according to police. He took his own life after a standoff with police Thursday.
A prominent local doctor, his wife and their two young grandchildren were among the five victims who died Wednesday. The fifth victim was working at the family’s home at the time of the shooting. A sixth person, Robert Shook, 38, was wounded and taken to a hospital but died as a result of his injuries Saturday, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.
CTE is a degenerative disease caused by repetitive hits to the head that is commonly associated with contact sports, including football. It has affected professional and amateur athletes and has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders.
Adams’s family members have alluded to the potential impact of football on his behavior and mental health in the days since the shooting. His father, Alonzo, told WCNC on Thursday that his son had been “a good kid. I think the football messed him up.”
His sister, Lauren, told USA Today that his behavior abruptly changed in recent years and that his “mental health degraded fast and terribly bad,” adding that he had been seeing doctors and was pursuing a disability claim through the NFL.
“I know he had been applying for disability and he said they were making it hard for him. And toward the end he felt like they were trying to basically stiff him on money,” Lauren Adams said. “I think he got upset about that and that’s kind of where it started, with him kind of feeling like the whole world was against him.”
Scott Casterline, Adams’s agent, told the Associated Press that his former client did not participate in the physical and mental health programs that the NFL offers to ex-players. He described Adams as being “lost without football, somewhat depressed.”
Adams was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2010 and played cornerback for six seasons. He last played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. He had no previous criminal record.