File picture of Phillip Adams
Child Among 4 Dead In Mass Shooting In Orange County, California: What We Know So Far Photo by NFL via Getty Images

Former National Football League (NFL) player Phillip Adams, who allegedly shot dead six people before killing himself earlier this year, had "unusually severe" stage two Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), said an expert.

The 32-year-old had an extraordinary amount of CTE pathology in the frontal lobes of the brain, Dr. Ann McKee said during a Tuesday press conference, reported CNN.

The disease linked to head injuries is characterized by an unusual buildup of tau, which is a protein. Its severity is categorized in four stages based on the location and amount of the protein buildup in the brain, and stage 4 is the most severe. It can be diagnosed only after death.

McKee said that his pathology was similar to that of another former NFL player, Aaron Hernandez, who also killed himself while he was in jail for murder. The doctor, who had evaluated Hernandez's brain for the same disease said that Adams' CTE pathology was different, however, "from other young NFL players with CTE. It was different in that it was unusually severe in both frontal lobes."

As for similarities, in its frontal lobe predominance, his CTE pathology was similar to that of Hernandez, who was 27 when he died. According to McKee's 2017 analysis, the 27-year-old was found to have Stage 3 CTE, which is generally associated with impaired judgment, behavioral changes and cognitive and memory loss.

On Tuesday, McKee said that Adams' CTE pathology might have contributed to his behavior and the way he acted. According to ESPN, she didn't think that he snapped, and it appeared to be a "cumulative progressive impairment." She added that Adams was having increasing difficulties with his memory and "getting increasingly paranoid."

Investigators said that Adams fatally shot six people in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on April 7. Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife Barbara, two of the couple’s grandkids, and two air conditioning technicians who were at the Lesslies’ residence on the day of the shooting were killed, according to

Then Adams took his own life, said detectives. Back then, authorities said that they didn't know the motive behind the murder.

In April, York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said that her office connected with Boston University to check whether he had the brain disease or not.

Adams' family said that they were not surprised by the brain test results, and that they were shocked to know how bad his health was. His family said that they were "deeply saddened by the events that occurred on April 7 and we continue to pray for the families of the victims."

From 2010 to 2015, Adams played as a defensive back for teams like Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.

Phillip Adams and Paul Worrilow
Phillip Adams #20 and Paul Worrilow #55 of the Atlanta Falcons tackle Travaris Cadet #38 of the New Orleans Saints during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 3, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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