ROCK HILL, SC – Six people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday night, including a prominent York County doctor, his wife, two of their grandchildren and two HVAC technicians.
The York County coroner’s office said Dr. Robert Lesslie (70) and his wife Barbara Lesslie (69) were declared dead at the scene together with their grandchildren Adah Lesslie (9) and Noah Lesslie (5).
“He was my best friend”
I’m talking to Tom Lewis, the father of the Gastonia technician, who was killed in a mass shooting in a house outside Rock Hill. James Lewis was there working on the air conditioning when a gunman killed the family at home and Lewis and then seriously injured Lewis’ staff pic.twitter.com/NkleSRPA7R
– Ken (@ kenlemonWSOC9) April 8, 2021
A fifth victim, James Lewis, 38, from Gastonia, was found dead in front of the house. Authorities said he was working for Lesslie when he was shot.
A sixth victim, Robert Shook, 38, of Cherryville, North Carolina, was also working at home when he was shot. He was flown to a Charlotte hospital in critical condition but died days later, according to the York County Medical Department.
On Thursday morning, Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon confirmed that Lewis and Shook were working at Gaston Sheet Metal Services in Gastonia.
When Channel 9 visited GSM Services on Thursday morning, there was a notice on the front door informing customers that the store was closed.
The team was said to have been broken by the shooting and described both men as “beloved members of our family at GSM”.
GASTON SHEET METAL SERVICES STATEMENT:
“As you can imagine, our team at GSM Services was broken from what happened last night in York, SC. Both of the men involved in this incident have been long-time beloved members of our family at GSM. These men embody the values we aim to achieve at GSM and are family-oriented, excited and wonderful team members who care for all of the people they have encountered. In the days ahead, our focus will be on helping these families and our team members deal with this tragedy.
We’d like to thank the Law Enforcement and Emergency Management staff for being as helpful with their communication, empathy and professionalism as we did yesterday and overnight. We’d also like to thank our community for supporting our team and these families. Our community has helped us build this company through all of our good times, and we are blessed to know that support will continue through the bad times.
Please keep our families in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days. “
Channel 9 learned that James Lewis and Shook were working as HVAC technicians when filming was taking place.
Lewis died from his injuries. Shook survived and called her employer, who immediately called 911.
“We are a heating and air conditioning company and my two technicians are there. Somebody just called me. He can’t speak. He yells, “I was shot. I was shot. ‘And I asked him where the other one is and he said, “He’s lying there and doesn’t react” and he was shot too, “you heard your employer say on the emergency call.
Reporter Ken Lemon spoke to Lewis’ parents Thursday morning, who said he was their only child and that he was a single father of three.
Tom Lewis and Linda Tucker said their son went to school to become an HVAC technician and make a better living for his children. They said they can’t believe he was killed doing the job he loved and making a living for the family he adored.
“I keep expecting to wake up, ‘Oh, it was just a bad dream,’ but it isn’t. It’s real, ”said Tom Lewis. “I would like to find out why this guy did what he did. Sometimes I would have a lot more than that. “
“He helped everyone, he was a kind guy, a great father. It’s just so stupid, ”said Tucker.
She said the hardest thing she ever had to do was tell her grandchildren that their father was dead.
Shook’s family said he had three children and could call his employer, who called 911 after the shooting.