Doctor and his grandchildren among 5 shot dead in South Carolina

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A doctor, his wife and two of their grandchildren were among five people shot dead in South Carolina on Wednesday evening, police said.

A suspect was found in a house near the shooting in the town of Rock Hill, SC, about 25 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, and taken into custody, Trent Faris, a York County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. Police were serving a search warrant at the house, he said.

The motive for the shooting was not clear. Agent Faris said there was no evidence of an accomplice.

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

The fifth fatally shot, James Lewis, was working at the house. A sixth victim was taken to hospital with serious gunshot wounds, Constable Faris said.

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A person who answered the phone at the sheriff’s office Thursday morning said no officer was available to comment further on the shooting.

Constable Faris said Dr Lesslie had been a prominent physician in the Rock Hill community and had opened a local medical center. Dr Lesslie had practiced medicine at Rock Hill since 1981 and was an emergency medicine specialist, according to the doctor’s office where he worked. The doctor had also been a newspaper and magazine columnist and author.

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Officer Faris said the shooting was “a very, very tragic situation”.

“I have lived in Rock Hill my entire life and Dr Lesslie was my doctor growing up,” he added. “This is how it is a little difficult for me.”

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