Steve McNair dead from gunshot wounds at age 36

Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 4:31pm
McNair, Kazemi

UPDATED: Metro Police Saturday night confirmed that former Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, 36, and a 20-year-old woman, were found dead in the living room of a downtown Nashville condominium co-rented by McNair.

Medical Examiner staff concluded that McNair was the victim of multiple bullet wounds, police spokesman Don Aaron said late Saturday night, at least one to the head, and the woman, Sahel Kazemi, died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

The pair was found early Saturday afternoon in the condominium at 2nd and Lea Avenues in Rutledge Hill by the other co-renter, Wayne Neeley. Police reported that it received its first call at 1:35 p.m.

Metro Police Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death and the circumstances surrounding it. They said a weapon was found near Kazemi's body.

Aaron gave few additional details, mentioning only that a witness saw McNair arrive at the condo early Saturday morning and that the pair was involved in a DUI after a traffic stop early Thursday.

While details still are sketchy, sources say that the scene could be a murder/suicide, or made to look like a murder/suicide. has reported that McNair was approached and threatened at a Nashville restaurant Friday evening, though Aaron would not comment on that or any other theory.

An autopsy is planned for Sunday morning, police said.

In the traffic stop, police reported that Kazemi was pulled over driving an SUV registered to both her and McNair, who was traveling with her in the passenger seat at the time of the stop. The SUV was at the condo when police arrived at the crime scene, Aaron said.

McNair, immensely popular in Nashville, played 13 seasons with the Titans/Houston Oilers and was a three-time Pro Bowler. He was the NFL's co-MVP (along with Peyton Manning) in 2003, before spending two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, before retiring in 2008.

"He was one of the finest players to play for our organization and one of the most beloved players by our fans," Titans owner Bud Adams said Saturday in a statement. "He played with unquestioned heart and leadership and led us to places that we had never reached, including our only Super Bowl."

The team's former general manager was also "deeply saddened to learn of [Saturday's] tragic news.

"He was a player who I admired a great deal," said New England Patriots senior football adviser Floyd Reese, who was GM of the Titans when McNair played there. "He was a tremendous leader and an absolute warrior. I don't think there was a player who played with him or against him that didn't look up to him and respect him.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his friends and the many teammates who loved and admired him," Reese said.

McNair is survived by his wife, MeChelle McNair, and sons, Junior, Steven, Tyler, and Trenton.

"We don't know the details, but it is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the families involved," added NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement.

Titans coach Jeff Fisher is in Iraq, taking part in the first NFL-USO coaches tour.

Kazemi, a native of Florida, reportedly worked at Dave & Buster's at OpryMills and had an apartment in Hermitage.

The City Paper will update this story as more information comes available.


Filed under: City News

5 Comments on this post:

By: frankbrown on 7/4/09 at 4:21

The aftermath will make a good story! You can see the ingriedients now.

By: NewYorker1 on 7/6/09 at 12:32

She's not even cute. Steve, what in the world were you thinking about. What could a waitress at Dave and Buster do for you? She's probably making minimum wage and on top of that, she's 20 years old. They say football players are dumb, now I agree.

By: NewYorker1 on 7/6/09 at 12:43

Mrs. McNair, take those millions girl and LIVE baby. Live life to the fullest because you deserve it.

By: tommigang on 7/6/09 at 11:48


By: tommigang on 7/6/09 at 11:51

Mr New Yorker, yet another flip that makes a judgement on a woman by the way she looks! Give yaself an uppercut Trogdilyte!!