Police: Kazemi wanted to die in McNair's lap

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 3:52pm
Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas, flanked by homicide detectives, reveals that Steve McNair's girlfriend Sahel Kazemi killed the former Titans star then turned the gun on herself. Photo by Jude Ferrara/The City Paper

Police believe Steve McNair slept on the couch inside his condominium in the early morning hours of July 4 when his mistress of several months approached with a handgun and fired a shot into his left temple.

Sahel Kazemi fired two more shots into the former Titans star’s chest and then a fourth shot into his other temple. Then Kazemi positioned herself next to McNair on the couch and, presumably hoping to die in his lap according to Metro Police, put the gun to her own temple and pulled the trigger.

Kazemi’s body fell into McNair and then onto the floor, putting the tragic finishing touches on what Metro Police on Wednesday called a certain murder-suicide.

“While it will never be known exactly what was on Kazemi’s mind early Saturday morning, the totality of the evidence allows for conclusions as to her actions,” Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said.

Click here to read the full account of the murder-suicide from Metro Police.

Police painted Kazemi’s final days as troubled. She was in financial difficulty because her rent was about to double with a roommate moving out. Kazemi was also facing a double car payment, on her own Kia automobile and the Cadillac Escalade, she co-owned with McNair, but made the payments herself.

Two days before the murder-suicide, Kazemi told a co-worker, “my life is a ball of shit and I should just end it,” according to police.

She purchased for $100 a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun late in the day on July 2. Police say she bought the gun from an individual in the parking lot of the Dave & Busters where she worked. Earlier that day, Kazemi had been arrested for driving under the influence.

What made Kazemi “distraught,” according to police, was learning earlier in the week that McNair might have been romantically involved with yet another woman besides his wife. Police said Kazemi recently even followed the woman to her residence.

Serpas said that in addition to Kazemi’s troubled state of mind, all of the scientific evidence and tests pointed to a murder-suicide as well. Ballistics and gunshot residue tests performed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation linked the bullets and casings found at the scene to the handgun found under Kazemi’s body. Although gunshot residue tests were not completely conclusive, residue was found on Kazemi’s left palm, Serpas said.

As for the events leading up to police being notified, Serpas said McNair’s roommate Wayne Neeley and friend Robert Gaddy did not act inappropriately. Serpas said it was not unheard of for an individual to be in a state of shock and not call the police immediately after coming upon a traumatic crime scene, like the one Neeley found on Saturday afternoon.

Neeley first phoned Gaddy, who didn’t call 911 until about 40 minutes later. 

Listen to Gaddy's complete 911 call here.

Police said there were no signs of a struggle at the crime scene and reiterated that absolutely no evidence indicated the tragic events to be anything other than a murder-suicide.

Neeley admitted to moving one shell casing, but detectives believe he was truthful in his answers to questions.

Although loose ends still need to be tied up, according to Serpas, detectives conclusively believe no other evidence points to anything beside a murder-suicide.

"There's no question that she shot herself," Serpas said.

Click here for information on two public memorial services for McNair to be held Thursday.

McNair-Kazemi-July 8 News Release.pdf127.91 KB

33 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 7/8/09 at 2:23

There you have it. Anther Muslim or nation of Islam terrorist killing. The "She was Ba'hai" sect is irrelevant. What animal at 20 can execute her alledged "lover"? She knew he was married, a father of 4.
Get these people out of the USA, and pronto. Close their Mosques, prayer circles, prayer mats, whatever. They are a danger to America. Something's wrong with their DNA, and it goes haywire on American soil.

By: sidneyames on 7/8/09 at 2:47

D7, we can't blame all people of one faith because some are wired as wackos. Remember Christian extremists commit horrific crimes against humanity. I'm so sad for his wife and sons and the rest of his family. Her family is faced with the shame of what she has done. She shot him point blank in his sleep and he never saw it coming. Also, note the other article that says he filmed a suicide prevention piece. She had to have known that he did that. I bet the last thing she said was "prevent this" as he slept off a day of celebrating. I feel no sorrow for her and quite frankly wish her name would disappear from all media as if she did not exist. She was selfish in taking the life of a father of 4 young men. How dare she? How shameful on her. While I don't agree with his life style, it was not a cause for a death penalty. Maybe now the jocks in this country will re-evaluate their flagrant life styles (some of them who are flagrant) and will keep their tights on!

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 7/8/09 at 2:47

Regardless of country of origin, race, religion, etc. - unfortunately DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HAPPENS EVERYWHERE. There is no real excuse for what she did, and it is unfortunate he "hooked up" with someone who was (or became) unstable. Native born Americans commit horrific crimes every day.

By: MeretriciousCreation on 7/8/09 at 2:50

Well dargent7, I was fully prepared to write a treatise on why that is some humdinger, over-the-top, prize-winning hate speech, but then I realized that you are an ignorant bigot and not worth my time.
This is a tragedy, but one that happens every day to people of ALL colors/races/religions, so can your racist crap and save it for the KKK web forum.

By: freddy on 7/8/09 at 2:52

dargent7, Ba'hai is not Muslim. This is a tragedy and you are a jerk. I have no idea what sort of pathology leads ignorant people to be so proud of their ignorance...

By: shaneaproductions on 7/8/09 at 2:53

dargent7 should get out of the USA...what an embarrassing thing to say

By: NonyaBidness on 7/8/09 at 3:02

Damn, I wanted to be the one to tell D7 that Ba'hais are not Muslims. Too late. Anyway, D7 posts ignorant stuff all over this site, so I can't tell if (s)he is serious, or just a troll. Anyway, what you posted D7 is over the top and an insult to Steve McNair's memory and to the people of Nashville. I'm not defending the young woman who killed him, but you should be ashamed of yourself.

By: matahari on 7/8/09 at 3:09

dargent7, that is the most idiotic thing you have ever posted on this website. And you've set the bar very high in the past.

By: vinemp on 7/8/09 at 3:09

dargent7, I pray you are either a 13 year old, with no sense of your own stupidity, repeating what you've heard in your community or an old bigot soon to trouble the world no more. Otherwise, enjoy the anonymity. May your tongue slip in public soon!

By: honestvoice on 7/8/09 at 3:11

Steve was a generous guy that met a young girl that was needy and probably tried to help her in some way. I would bet that initially he had no real intention of being that involved with her, however, based upon her actions (she was probably bi-polar) she probably became more and more dependent on him. Eventually he compromised himself (just like in the fatal attraction movie) and she might have used that against him to force him to do things and make decisions that he would not otherwise have made, on the threat that she would call his wife or call the media. So Steve satisfied Sahel by such things as trips out of town. I am sure that Steve saw that this was getting way out of hand and probably decided to just face the consquences of his poor decisions. Knowing that Steve was going to break off contact was too much for Sahel to bear.

It is very sad, but I have seen this happen before, especially to individuals that like to help others. Many times the one that receives the help mistakes that help for much more than intended.

By: NateEC72 on 7/8/09 at 3:12

dargent7... ya just need to stop spreading the hate

By: TITAN1 on 7/8/09 at 3:14

Thanks for the update, chief! It sounds like the detectives and everyone who worked on this case did their job very well.

By: bfra on 7/8/09 at 3:25

What was the time of Steve McNair's death? Did they check for residue on Norfleet's hands? Why was Norfleet allowed to leave the State before the investigation was finished? Why was Norfleet at Steve's condo the day of the murder and at what time? Still a lot of unanswered questions!

By: Roysterman on 7/8/09 at 3:33

Nice one dude! This girl was distraught, in over her head financially and in a relationship with a married man. At 20 a person's brain hasn't even stopped developing yet-that doesn't happen until the mid-20s or so. She sounds like someone who was despondent and made a disastrous choice-for her and Steve.
What a waste-a tragedy for all concerned but certainly not influenced by her Bah'ai faith (I know several including Dash Crofts and Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts) and they are cool people with a great reverence for life. I'm a Christian and I can hang with these folks, so that tells you something. Clearly this young girl just made the same tragic decision that far too many of our teenagers make.
This is not a religously motivate crime at all, and she could have been Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Methodist, Evangelical or Muslim and reached the same sad, wrong conclusion.
Shame on you for trying to inject hatred into a sad situation that is breaking all of Nashville's heart.

By: brrrrk on 7/8/09 at 3:41

Call me suspicious, but I still think this is all way too clean.

By: idgaf on 7/8/09 at 3:59

Hey 7 that include barry?

By: brrrrk on 7/8/09 at 4:41
Call me suspicious, but I still think this is all way too clean.

I thought he shot her then committed suicide by shooting himself 4 times. [/sarcasim]

You can't play with those young girls and then let them down.

I was betting it was his own gun.

By: total_kos on 7/8/09 at 5:17

HonestVoice, your post is making McNair sound so innocent and sincere. It is widely known that he was an adulterer (I think whoremonger fits as well). He wasn't some innocent who just happened to get caught up in the trap of a teenager (she was 19 when they hooked up). Professional stuff aside, he was a ho, she was a gold digger, tragic ending.

By: SirKnight on 7/8/09 at 5:41

bfra, did it ever occur to you that not all facts and details are released to the general public?? Maybe if you call the police dept and talk to the detectives yourself, they will tell you. I am sure that they combed over every possible witness and piece of information very carefully.

By: bfra on 7/8/09 at 6:20

Unanswered questions I ask are usually part of the reporting! Dude!

By: TITAN1 on 7/8/09 at 6:25

SirKnight, barf and his alter egos argue with everyone.

By: bfra on 7/8/09 at 7:24

AND, Titan1 still sucks up to every authority figure! He thinks! Has it got you any free passes to anything? HaHa By-the-way what about your favorite idol - spitman?

By: walbond on 7/8/09 at 7:32

Two hurting people. It's sad for both of them, and I feel for their loved ones. Hopefully we learn.

By: TITAN1 on 7/8/09 at 8:30

barf or gd or courier, whatever it is, get your facts straight, try to keep up. I know it is a great challenge.

By: tommigang on 7/8/09 at 10:38

I am not an American. I happen to be an Aussie.I am Glad that Americans aren't judged by the cretin called dargent 7 where did he spring from?/ What a Miserable nasty piece of work He/she is!!! Should give him/herself an uppercut for being such a grub!&^

By: jps13pat on 7/9/09 at 12:58

Dargent7, what an outrageously ugly and ignorant post. shaneaproductions said it best, it's people like you that should leave the country. What an evil thing to say at the most inappropriate time.

By: bfra on 7/9/09 at 1:53

Titan1 aka suck-up - If she fired 5 shots, there should have been more than a little residue on her hand. Do you know anything about guns?

By: TN4th on 7/9/09 at 6:22

By: dargent7 on 7/8/09 at 3:23
...Anther Muslim or nation of Islam terrorist killing. The "She was Ba'hai" sect is irrelevant. What animal at 20 can execute her alledged "lover"? She knew he was married, a father of 4.
Get these people out of the USA, and pronto. ...

You are both ignorant and unAmerican. Our nation was founded on freedom of religion, and you want to deport people who are not of your particular religion??? That's unAmerican.

Ignorant because the Ba'hai faith is not muslim at all. Look it up. It is a peaceful and benign faith which actually recognizes Jesus (among others) as a prophet, but I doubt that she was practicing, because many of her actions contradict the tenets of the faith.

As far as blaming her for this tragedy, how about putting a little blame on a powerful adult who would cheat on his wife and prey on a teenager. She didn't make vows with McNair's wife ... HE did.

By: TITAN1 on 7/9/09 at 7:13

barf, recognizing a job well done is being a suck-up? LOL! It is a lot better than sitting around griping and whining about anything and everything someone says or does like you and your alter egos do. Try to enjoy life and not be so bitter all the time.

By: house_of_pain on 7/9/09 at 7:16

TITAN1, how dare you speak to Boomer Esiason that way...

By: Time for Truth on 7/9/09 at 8:52

From Dargent's past comments I would have to think his post was tongue-in-cheek and an attempt to bait everyone.

God knows when we are going to die but he doesn't pick the day. Quite often, we do, by eating in front of the TV and never excercising, by driving into a tree at 80mph while drunk, getting into drugs or the drug trade, becoming a gangbanger, or, in McNair's case, entering into an extra-marital affair with a looney tune.

This is a sad chapter to end what was otherwise a great life. He should have stayed home.

By: Time for Truth on 7/9/09 at 10:50

bfra, Norfleet certainly gives the impression of being a punk and a loser ('aspiring rapper' says it all) but not necessarily a killer. I'm sure he was given the appropriate scrutiny by the homicide detectives. It is more than likely they had some idea of what happened from the beginning and the evidence supported that.

By: sidneyames on 7/9/09 at 3:26

Time for Truth, I totally agree. God gives us free will. Risky behavior usually winds up putting an end to the people commiting it - one way or the other. For me, if my husband commits adultry, I'll call the "other" woman and say "hey, get over here and do his dirty laundry, scrub his toilet and clean out his fricking garage; and by the way does he snore as loudly with you as he does me"? But kill someone - never. Jenny (or whoever she was) would end up on death row if she had not ended up dead. And she planned to "die in his lap" but thank God gravity took over and pulled her down to the floor - closer to hell! I know that's harsh, but she killed a father of 4 and for that I am grief stricken. The boys and their mother did not deserve this.

By: sidneyames on 7/9/09 at 3:31

By the way, all you posters who feel sorry because she was a teenager, please! Miley Cyrus is a teen; Loretta Lynn was a teenage mom; my husband's mother was a 17 year old teen mother; Taylor Swift is a teen. There are millions of teens doing the right thing. Jenny (or whoever she is) could vote, could work, could go to college, could drive, could buy a car, could have babies and could do what ever she wanted to do. Sorry, but she chose to go after affluent men. That was her choice. She was old enough to know that it was wrong to date a married man -- and a "separated married" man is still "married". So please, stop the Jenny pity party.