‘I keep expecting to wake up’: HVAC tech, father of 3 killed in SC mass shooting

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A mass shooting on Wednesday evening left six people dead, including a prominent York County doctor, his wife, two of their grandchildren and two HVAC technician’s.

The York County coroner’s office said Dr. Robert Lesslie, 70, and his wife, Barbara Lesslie, 69, were pronounced dead at the scene along with grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5.

A fifth victim, James Lewis, 38, from Gastonia, was found dead outside the home. Authorities said he had been working at the Lesslie’s home when he was shot.

A sixth victim, Robert Shook, 38, of Cherryville, North Carolina, was also working at the home when he was shot. He was flown to a Charlotte hospital in critical condition, but died days later, according to the York County coroner’s office.

On Thursday morning, Channel 9 reporter Ken Lemon confirmed that Lewis and Shook worked at Gaston Sheet Metal Services in Gastonia.

When Channel 9 visited GSM Services Thursday morning, there was a note posted on the front door letting customers know the business was closed.

It said the team was heartbroken by the shooting and described both men as “beloved members of our family at GSM.”



“As you can imagine, our team at GSM Services is heart broken from the events that transpired yesterday evening in York, SC. Both men involved in this incident are long-standing, beloved members of our family at GSM. These men embody the values we strive to achieve at GSM and are family focused, up-beat, and wonderful team members who cared about all the people they encountered. In the coming days, our focus is on helping these families and our team members cope with this tragedy.

We wish to thank the law enforcement and emergency management personnel who have been so helpful with their communication, empathy, and professionalism as we dealt with this yesterday and overnight. We also want to thank our community for all the support for our team and these families. Our community has helped us build this company through all of our good times and we are blessed knowing this support continues during bad times.

Please continue to keep our families in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.”


Channel 9 learned that James Lewis and Shook were working as a HVAC technicians when the shooting happened.

Lewis died from his injuries. Shook survived and called their employer, who immediately called 911.

“We are a heating and air conditioning company and my two technicians are there. One just called me. He can’t talk. He’s screaming, ‘I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot.’ And, I asked him where the other one is and he said, ‘He’s laying there and he’s unresponsive’ and he was shot also,’” their employer could be heard saying on the 911 call.

Reporter Ken Lemon spoke to Lewis’ parents Thursday morning, who said he is their only child and that he is a single father of three children.

Tom Lewis and Linda Tucker said their son went to school to become a HVAC technician to earn a better living for his children. They said they can’t believe he was killed doing the job he loved, making a living for the family he adored.

“I keep on expecting to wake up, ‘Oh, it was just a bad dream,’ but it’s not. It’s real,” Tom Lewis said. “I would like to find out why this guy did what he did. I would like a lot more than that at times.”

“He helped anybody, he was a kind guy, a great dad. It’s just so stupid,” Tucker said.

She said the hardest thing she’s ever had to do was tell her grandchildren that their father was dead.

Shook’s family said he was a father of three, and that he was able to call his employer, who called 911 after the shooting happened.