Mystery of married football star shot dead with woman

Police are trying to unravel the relationship between the former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and his friend, a 20-year-old woman, both found shot to death in his downtown condominium.

McNair, a star player for the Tennessee Titans who led them to the Super Bowl game and was named Most Valuable Player in the NFL in 2003, was found on a sofa in his living-room on Saturday with multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the head. His friend, Sahel Kazemi, was very close to him on the floor, killed by a single gunshot. A pistol was discovered near her, but police said it took a while to find the firearm. Authorities did not immediately say who was to blame for the killings, but they were not looking for any suspects.

McNair, 36, and Ms Kazemi were together just two days earlier, when she was pulled over driving a 2007 Escalade registered to her and McNair. She was arrested on drink-driving charges, and he was allowed to leave in a taxi.

McNair and Ms Kazemi apparently knew each other from a restaurant the quarterback and his family frequented, but workers there would not talk about their relationship. Police also refused to release further details, simply calling Ms Kazemi a "friend". A police spokesman, Don Aaron, said McNair's wife, Mechelle, is "very distraught". He added: "At this juncture, we do not believe she is involved. Nothing has been ruled out, but as far as actively looking for a suspect, the answer would be, No."

Fred McNair, the sports star's oldest brother, said some family members will travel to Nashville today to console Mechelle. "It's still kind of hard to believe," he said. "He was the greatest person in the world. He gave back to the community. He loved kids and he wanted to be a role model to kids." He said he did not know who Ms Kazemi was.

The bodies were discovered by McNair's friend, Wayne Neeley, who rents the condo with him. Mr Neeley told authorities he went into the condo, saw McNair and Ms Kazemi, but walked first into the kitchen before going back into the living-room. Mr Neeley called a friend, who alerted authorities.

Police said a witness saw McNair arrive at the condo in the upscale Rutledge Hill neighbourhood between 1.30am and 2am on Saturday and that Ms Kazemi's vehicle was already there. An arrest affidavit from Thursday said she had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on her breath when she was pulled over, but refused a breathalyser test, saying "she was not drunk, she was high".

McNair and his family were said to frequent the restaurant where Ms Kazemi was a waitress, Dave & Buster's in Nashville. Keith Norfleet, Ms Kazemi's ex-boyfriend, told The Tennessean newspaper that McNair and Ms Kazemi met at the restaurant. The restaurant manager Chris Truelove said: "She was reliable 90 per cent of the time. She was pretty outgoing. A lot of the guests liked being around her, and she liked being around the guests."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral