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?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker - Learning Difficulties

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a leading and growing provider of...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

£7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones