Friends paint picture of McNair’s final hours

Monday, July 6, 2009 at 1:03am

In the last few hours of Steve McNair's life, the celebrated former NFL quarterback was out with friends and enjoying the city that loved him for his football greatness and community involvement.

But what was supposed to be a long Fourth of July weekend of socializing and relaxing turned deadly, sending the city of Nashville into a state of shock.

On Saturday, McNair and 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi were found dead in a downtown condominium. McNair had been shot four times — twice in the head and twice in the chest. Kazemi had a single gunshot wound to her head.

Metro Police have ruled McNair's death a homicide while refraining to classify Kazemi's death as a suicide or homicide until they have completed their investigation.

Kazemi was a waitress at Dave & Buster’s in OpryMills and it was there she apparently first met McNair a few months ago. Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said that McNair and Kazemi were in a steady relationship and dating.

McNair was known to frequent area clubs and bars like Dave & Buster's, never hesitating to pose for pictures or sign autographs. While on these outings, he would often stop and chat with friends and business acquaintances.

The night of Friday, July 3, began without fanfare and, as usual, where McNair went he was noticed and chatted up friends.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., McNair and a woman identified as Kazemi were outside the Losers nightclub, at 1911 Division St.

The couple was sitting in a black Cadillac Escalade and were spotted and approached by local fund-raiser and event promoter Brent Young. According to Young, Kazemi was sitting in the driver’s seat and McNair, who was in the passenger seat, got out of the vehicle to speak with him.

Kazemi stayed in the vehicle and Young says that while he waved at her, he did not speak with her.

According to Young, he and McNair spoke of how excited the former Titans quarterback was that his life was coming together again, and was excited about the opening of his new restaurant, Gridiron9. They spoke of Young putting together a grand opening party for him in the next few weeks and also of the possibility of McNair's participation in an upcoming charity golf tournament.

Asked to expand on McNair's condition and state of mind Young said that McNair was “sober and in a great mood.”

At this point Young said that he invited McNair to stop by the nightclub Mai Nashville that evening for an event that he was attending.

Sometime after that conversation, Young says that he saw McNair and an unknown man enter Mai, at 125 12th Ave. N. Mai was hosting an event with musician Aaron Carter and his brother Nick of the group Backstreet Boys.

Kazemi was not in the club, according to Young, due to the fact that she was under age.

McNair apparently stayed a short time and left, heading toward the Blue Moon Lagoon Restaurant on Basswood Drive in the Rock Harbor Marina.

According to several sources, it is at Blue Moon Lagoon where McNair's evening took an ominous turn.

While sitting with friends at the restaurant (sources say that Kazemi was not in the party), a white woman in her early 20s, about 5-foot-4, approached McNair and accused him of slipping her a “roofie” a year ago.

The woman then told McNair, according to sources, that her boyfriend was going to kill him.

Roofie is a slang term for Rohypnol, a sedative dating back to the early 1970s that is used in hospitals for deep sedation, but is now a fairly infamous date-rape drug.

After confronting McNair, sources say that the woman was asked to leave the restaurant. As of now, there is no known connection between the blonde woman's warning and the events that unfolded just a few hours later. It could well be an eerie coincidence. Still, Metro Police are interviewing patrons and staff members at Blue Moon Lagoon.

One of those in attendance at Blue Moon Lagoon was McNair's close friend Doug Crow. Crow is co-owner of popular Nashville restaurants, including The Crow’s Nest, The Corner Pub in the Woods, The Alley and Dalton's in Bellevue and The Corner Pub in Midtown.

Multiple attempts to reach Crow have been unsuccessful and friends tell that he has been "shattered" by the loss of what they called "his best friend Steve McNair."

Sources say that when McNair finally left the Blue Moon Lagoon in the early hours of July 4, Crow had a driver take McNair home. They say that the driver took McNair home alone.


4 Comments on this post:

By: shenanigan on 7/6/09 at 10:46

Sad news, wish everbody was some where else when this happen. the city paper was some where else when it ran a Its "Breaking news". Never seen any thing thrown on the side of the wall and they hope somthing might have stuck.

By: greenfrog on 7/6/09 at 9:44

I am disgusted by Steve McNair's 'so called' long time friends...Wayne Neely (co-owner of the condo) and the big daddy Gaddy guy.
They are piranha's who are on the gravy train...afraid to ever say..."Steve, you're messing up"............or NO STEVE!!!..........
They are the same caliber of folks that hung around Michael Jackson. If celebrities surrounded themselves by REAL FRIENDS...they may not self destruct like our beloved McNair has done.
Such a terrible loss...and a terrible waste.

By: McCormickFan on 7/8/09 at 9:01

Must agree - not a good job on the breaking news email that stated the bodies were found behind a market owned by Charlie Cardwell and that McNair was survived by one son, Steve Jr. who is a senior in high school.

By: rjrjrj on 7/10/09 at 12:46

Great work NCP in detailing Steve's last night. However, while you report Kazemi being with him at apx 9:30 sitting in her Escalade,the NPD says that she was still at work, and didn't clock out until 10:07, then went home and was on the computer until 11:00, and then ultimately left for the condo where she killed him and herself. The only way this can be reconciled is if Steve had another dark, long haired girl (perhaps a Latina?)who also happened to drive a black Esclade, and if Wayne Young didn't get a good close up look at her, but instead just saw long black hair, and assumed it was Kazemi. Go to the NPD webage, check under press releases, and pull up the McNair one and you can read their version of how Kazemi's last night went, which is different from what your reporting indicates. Again, both you and the NPD could be right as the contradictions could be reconciled if there was another similar looking woman with basically the same car as Kazemi, with Steve that night.