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Police: McNair Death Officially Ruled Murder-Suicide

Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas officially announced on Wednesday afternoon that former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was shot and killed by his 20-year-old girlfriend, Sahel “Jenny” Kazemi, in a murder-suicide.

Gunpowder residue was found on the fingertips of Kazemi. There was no sign of a struggle, and it’s believed that McNair was sleeping at the time he was shot in a downtown Nashville condo.

Investigators believe McNair was sleeping on the sofa when he was shot in the right temple by Kazemi then shot twice more in the chest before she shot him in the left temple from inches away. Then, Kazemi shot herself in the right temple and died.

It’s believed that Kazemi attempted to shoot herself so she would fall into McNair’s lap, but she slumped off his lap and instead fell to the floor. The gun was discovered under her body. 

The time of the shootings has been estimated between 1:00 a.m. and 1:45 a.m.

“After nearly four days of intensive investigation, we have determined that Steve McNair was murderd by Sahel Kazemi and Sahel Kazemi killed herself,” Serpas said during a packed press conference. “The totality of the evidence clearly points to a murder-suicide.” 

Serpas also indicated that the bullets came from the gun that Kazemi recently had purchased.  “All five shell casings match the weapon, all five bullets have been recovered and they, too, were fired by the barrel of that weapon,” Serpas said.  “Gunpowder trace evidence was found on her left hand, not enough for a conclusive result. There was no gunshot residue evidence on McNair’s hands.”

There were no defensive wounds on McNair, so it’s believed that he was sleeping when he was shot and killed. 

According to the police, Kazemi had told friends that she was thinking about killing herself in the days prior to the incident.  She had suspected that McNair was seeing another woman.

Police confirmed that Kazemi’s former boyfriend, Keith Norfleet, has been ruled out as a suspect.

During the press conference, Serpas indicated that Kazemi had told associates that her life was “all messed up” and that she was going to “end it all.”

“We do believe there was evidence that her life was spinning out of control,” Serpas said.

Financial problems were referenced, including car payments on the black Cadillac Escalade that she co-owned with McNair, along with another car that was in Kazemi’s name.

Plus, Kazemi’s roommate was moving out, which would have increased Kazemi’s rent obligation.

“We do know that she was clearly sending a message during the last five to seven days of her life that things were going bad quickly,” Serpas said. “We believe she had recently learned that McNair was involved with another woman.”

Serpas added that Kazemi had attempted to follow the other woman, but Serpas didn’t identify her.

Investigators believe that Kazemi had bought the gun in the parking lot at the Dave & Busters restaurant where she had worked.

According to Serpas, the man who sold Kazemi the gun didn’t remember her explaining any motive for buying the gun.

McNair died at the age of 36.  He is survived by his wife, Mechelle McNair, and four sons.

Police shared their findings this afternoon with Mechelle McNair prior to today’s press conference.

McNair’s friend, Wayne Neely, who discovered the bodies and called another McNair friend, Robert Gaddy, instead of calling 911, acknowledged that he moved one of the five shell casings, but it was recovered by police.

The police don’t believe that Neely tampered with the evidence or the bodies.

The police are waiting for toxicology results to determine whether there were any drugs involved. No drugs or drug paraphernalia were discovered at the scene.

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62 Responses to “Police: McNair Death Officially Ruled Murder-Suicide”
  1. GangGreenPhan says: Jul 8, 2009 4:19 PM

    Sorry, Florio. I thought you had something.

  2. BaldingersPinky says: Jul 8, 2009 4:19 PM

    Gunpowder residue was found on her left hand, not enough for a conclusive result.
    So, you are saying there’s a chance!

  3. Mav69r says: Jul 8, 2009 4:20 PM

    Sounds like a sports Shakespearean tragedy.

  4. Arrowhead816 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:21 PM

    Just wanna know why she did this….

  5. methomps says: Jul 8, 2009 4:22 PM

    Something stunk all right: the conspiracy theories.

  6. realitypolice says: Jul 8, 2009 4:23 PM

    I’m sorry this turn out better for you, Florio. I know how much you were hoping for a long, drawn out, controversy. Guess there’s not much left to write.
    Except maybe an apology from you and a number of idiot posters to the Nashville PD.

  7. empty13 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:23 PM

    another woman? how dare he be involved with… his wife?

  8. Brian Moore1 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:23 PM

    That’s good enough for me.
    No master criminals. No conspiracies. Just a sad end to a sad tale. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

  9. NagaSwan says: Jul 8, 2009 4:25 PM

    1 Lesson
    1) Don’t cheat
    P.S. 20 year old’s are trouuuuble.

  10. hayward giablommi says: Jul 8, 2009 4:27 PM

    Bitch, jump off a bridge
    If you want to end it all
    No need for murder

  11. pantherdan89 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:30 PM

    Gunpowder residue on the left hand and you shoot yourself in the right temple ? How does that work ? I guess if your ex is there to give you support to shoot Mcnair and then consoling you afterwards he puts one through your head, then removes the silencer, lays the gun under the body and leaves to dispose of the silencer and, of course ,the glove or gloves he used, I guess thats how. Then again, maybe not.

  12. Kevin from Philly says: Jul 8, 2009 4:30 PM

    One lesson to draw from this: If someone you know starts talking about suicide, GET THEM HELP!

  13. king of chico says: Jul 8, 2009 4:31 PM

    this may seem strange but i could see the ex bf stalking her to mcnairs house and shooting mcnair then holding the girl and making it look like she killed herself. jealousy is very powerful and can cause people do do some extreem things.

  14. woodreaux says: Jul 8, 2009 4:32 PM

    and the moral of the story? don’t cheat on your wife, or your girlfriend if you are still married…

  15. JohnA says: Jul 8, 2009 4:36 PM

    The ‘Why did she do it’ seems pretty obvious.
    McNair told the young girl what she wanted to hear, in order to bed her. This tactic is as old as the hills, and works quite frequently, depending on the young lady.
    When she finally realized she had been duped, she went off the deep deep end, as a very very small percentage are , unfortunately, wont to do. You could say McNair first got lucky ( 20! ), and then, very very unlucky. He certainly didn’t do anything that many others haven’t done before. A real life ‘fatal attraction’. Very sad.

  16. cleanface says: Jul 8, 2009 4:37 PM

    I think the moral of the story here is that nothing good can come of a trip to Dave and Buster’s.

  17. empty13 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:37 PM

    where are the conspiracy theorists to say that the cop or the ex-boyfriend or mcnair’s friend or mcnair’s other friend or the shadowy D&B associate or the gun seller (one of them HAS to be the svengali!) drugged one or both of the dead? and then physically or psychically manipulated the bodies!

  18. LadyJag says: Jul 8, 2009 4:37 PM

    I guess it was ok the cheat on his wife….as long as he didn’t cheat on her………that b**** was crazy!!

  19. skf727 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:38 PM

    So many things wrong here…
    It sounds like the “other woman” she was worried about was someone other than McNair’s wife. Say it ain’t so.
    She was making car payments on the Escalade and it wasn’t a gift?!?! I’m thinking a waitress at Dave and Buster’s could not afford the insurance on an Escalade much less an actual car payment. Why would McNair put his name on the title and take out a car loan knowing that this broad cannot afford the payments and that eventually it will come back to him whether he is dating Kazemi or not.
    The person that sold the gun had better be hiring a good lawyer because he/she is gonna be in the sights of the prosecutors.
    Someone has to go down in such a high profile case.

  20. Dog9 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:39 PM

    Just an question. Police reported she had GSR on her left hand (not her right). How did she shoot herself in the right temple? Odd.

  21. suite34 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:40 PM

    So he was two-timing the mistress; didn’t see that one coming. Busy guy.

  22. Big Stretch says: Jul 8, 2009 4:42 PM

    satisfied yet Florio? who do you think they will get to play you in the movie based on this conspiracy.

  23. pantherdan89 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:42 PM

    Oh, and one of the shell casings was moved ?Maybe the one that was used on Kazemi ? interesting…..

  24. riotact says: Jul 8, 2009 4:44 PM

    So we can now end the conspiracy talk?

  25. Jimmy Smith and Bob Nelson are IDIOTS says: Jul 8, 2009 4:45 PM

    Gun residue on her left hand and she shot herself in the right temple? That sounds a bit odd.

  26. cincybengalfan says: Jul 8, 2009 4:45 PM

    Hmmm something doesn’t add up. Kazemi is said to have had gun powder residue on her left hand (other websites) yet was shot in the right temple. Unless she was a contortionist this doesn’t add up. I’d check into what was Kazemi’s dominate hand – hopefully this has been done.

  27. Idlespectator says: Jul 8, 2009 4:46 PM

    She shot him in the temple while he was sleeping.
    Then shot him twice in the chest.
    Just to make sure.
    Then shot him in the other temple just to make more sure.
    Then shot herself so that she’d be found in his arms.
    After five shots and she has “inconclusive” gunpowder residue?
    I wonder if NFL security has any interest in the possibility of incompetence or corruption of the Nashville police.

  28. jbwbubba says: Jul 8, 2009 4:49 PM

    Come on Florio, don’t you want to keep trashing people for no reason, with your Angela Lansbury mysteries. Here’s an idea, turn off CSI!

  29. Absolute says: Jul 8, 2009 4:49 PM

    What a shame…so she was gonna kill herself anyway according to this report? Wow…

  30. dunkingonuts says: Jul 8, 2009 4:52 PM

    Truly a tragedy, however there was something good that came out of this
    NFL players across the country are moving out of their “shag pads” and running back to their wives…!

  31. Chuck says: Jul 8, 2009 4:54 PM

    Maybe I heard wrong, but I thought Serpas indicated in the news conference that Kazemi shot herself in the right temple. I’ll have to watch again, but if that’s true, the residue would have to be on her righthand. Unless she was some double-jointed contortionist!

  32. Mobodini says: Jul 8, 2009 4:54 PM

    Not to naysay, but wouldn’t one expect gun shot residue on the RIGHT hand if she shot herself in the right temple?

  33. Voyager6 says: Jul 8, 2009 4:56 PM

    gunpowder residue on her fingerPRINTS?
    How about fingertips? or Fingers? Her fingerprints could be on a glass in another room!

  34. swoopnc says: Jul 8, 2009 4:58 PM

    What, no paragraph at the end on how much this doesn’t add up???? Oh well, training camp starts soon so you can get back to your day job.

  35. MaddBearFan says: Jul 8, 2009 5:08 PM

    Sounds like Mr. McNair was a regular Hound Doggie. You play with fire and you ain’t a fireman, you’ll likely get burned.

  36. realitypolice says: Jul 8, 2009 5:08 PM

    He obviously misspoke or something was left out. Don’t you think a damn forensic expert would know someone couldn’t shoot themselves in the right temple with their left hand? If this was some sort of elaborate conspiracy, wouldn’t they lie better than that?
    There’s no stopping a conspiracy theorist, I guess.

  37. realitypolice says: Jul 8, 2009 5:16 PM

    “Gunpowder residue on the left hand and you shoot yourself in the right temple ? How does that work ? I guess if your ex is there to give you support to shoot Mcnair and then consoling you afterwards he puts one through your head, then removes the silencer, lays the gun under the body and leaves to dispose of the silencer and, of course ,the glove or gloves he used, I guess thats how. Then again, maybe not.”
    Really? That retarded psuedo-rapper who can’t spell or speak coherently:
    a) staged that elaborate scene and;
    b) had a SILENCER?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?
    “give you support to shoot mcnair”? What is he, her “death coach”?
    My God- GET HELP!

  38. longrodvanhungendong says: Jul 8, 2009 5:16 PM

    Wel Florio, you can go back to at least two Favre articles a day now. The milk has run dry on this story. Although I’m sure he held off his signing with the Vikes due to this tragedy…..

  39. Mike K says: Jul 8, 2009 5:16 PM

    Like I said earlier, now the Perez Hilton of football (hopefully) closes his “conspiracy” story with a whimper.
    He will not apologize to the cop or to the ex-boyfriend who he so readily disparaged and insinuated to have had involvement. He doesn’t have the class nor the nuts. If you’re new to to this site, NBC readers, you’ll quickly find out that Florio thinks that if you’re a cop, you’re wrong.

  40. DoomsDayD75 says: Jul 8, 2009 5:21 PM

    I too wonder how you would shoot yourself in the right temple with your left hand. And why she had to shoot someone who was asleep 5 times, especially if he wasn’t resisting. but on the other hand, the bitch was obviously out of her god damn mind, so who the hell knows what she was thinking.

  41. HawgNSonsTV says: Jul 8, 2009 5:22 PM

    The conclusion…. NEVER TRUST an IRANIAN!

  42. Kidekk says: Jul 8, 2009 5:24 PM

    As usual, another writer posts the story that debunks Florio’s thought. But, I still, like Florio, find things out of whack when GSR (I watch CSI, so I can call it GSR) is found on her left hand but the bullet went through her right temple. Maybe it is somehow possible, and if she was that mentally distressed, that she had the frame of mind (since she may have been out of it) to think of shooting herself in a way that no one would think of. You would think that they would mention they found GSR on the right hand as well. Moreover, in the 30 minutes it took for the guy to call the police (if he was even the 0ne who called the police) what else did he do besides just moving one of the shell casings? Moreover, why would you move one of the shell casings (unless he accidentally just kicked it somewhere)? It’s one of those murder mysteries that Dateline or 20/20 is going to do a piece on down the line assuming no more details come out.

  43. Action Dan says: Jul 8, 2009 5:35 PM

    By turning your head to the left, it’s pretty damn easy to shoot yourself in the right temple using your left hand.
    If she’s left-handed (Never trust a leftie), this is a non-issue.

  44. LightningLucci says: Jul 8, 2009 5:39 PM

    “Sounds like a sports Shakespearean tragedy.”
    Beat me to it. Sounds like she was trying to pull a Juliet there.
    But Juliet used poison. Like most women do…or used to do?

  45. Real Football Fan says: Jul 8, 2009 5:40 PM

    The presence of residue on the left hand despite the kill shot on the woman being on the opposite side of her head is just one of those tiny details that police departments often ignore in favor of closing a case. Not to mention all of the bullets fired but only leaving a “trace” of residue on her left hand?
    And let’s leave out that they estimated the times of death between 1-1:30 AM, although witnesses stated seeing McNair arrive later than that. however, don’t let facts get in the way of tying up a case so everybody can go home.
    Unfortunately, this kind of work is far too common in this country instead of being a rarity.
    There’s a higher authority the murderer(s) will have to answer to for their indiscretions. Today’s findings only assured me that they were murdered.

  46. DFWTMILLAW says: Jul 8, 2009 5:43 PM

    My guess is she did not put the gun to either temple….. She wanted to fall into McNairs lap so she held the gun out in front of her with her left hand and aimed at her forehead…. the trigger pull of an inexperience shooter (ie jerking..not squeeeeeeezing) would have resulted in a shot to the right side of the head.
    Of course if you tell me she is right handed then I might have an issue with the scenario.

  47. MkePackFan says: Jul 8, 2009 5:47 PM

    Well Undersherriff Florio & his gang of rambling, idiotic deputies, you can turn in your paper badges in with the receptionist.
    I guess a 20 year old woman can put 4 shots into a man without Navy SEAL training after all…especially when that man is asleep and the 1st shot is to the temple.

  48. Kidekk says: Jul 8, 2009 5:51 PM

    Action Dan, you just made me feel real stupid. In my attempts to figure out how it was done, not once did I think of turning my head, which would make sense if she wanted McNair to be the last thing she saw considering she was seated next to him (if she was in fact seated to the right of him when she pulled the trigger). Again, thanks for making me feel like an idiot.

  49. MkePackFan says: Jul 8, 2009 5:54 PM

    Oh and yeah…jeez, more conspiracy theories are much better than believing a woman is incapable of acting crazy…

  50. Dryheave says: Jul 8, 2009 6:02 PM

    enough of this foolishness, let’s get back to spygate

  51. penrod814 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:02 PM

    Or maybe……she held the gun with her right hand, braced the barrel with her left, (she is a female with her first time handling a firearm) and pulled the trigger leaving the resin on her left hand.
    Why is it so hard to believe that a 20-year-old female who is demented enough to be a mistress can also be crazy enough to pull off something like this?!?!

  52. Raiders757 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:11 PM

    @ Action Dan
    Nobody is going to turn their head so they can shoot themselves in the right temple with their left had.
    A likely explanation, is that she used both hands at some point when shooting McNair. Hence gunshot residue getting on her left hand. She more than likely shot herself in the right temple with her right hand.
    She probably had GSR on both hands, but the residue on the left hand came out more conclusive than the right during the lab analysis. It’s not as easy as CSI makes it look, when determining GSR.

  53. GangGreenPhan says: Jul 8, 2009 6:14 PM

    Mike K said: If you’re new to to this site, NBC readers, you’ll quickly find out that Florio thinks that if you’re a cop, you’re wrong.
    You do know he’s a lawyer right?

  54. Nard100 says: Jul 8, 2009 6:40 PM

    Totally called it yesterday.

  55. smilergrogan says: Jul 8, 2009 6:48 PM

    penrod: the answer to your last question is that almost everyone knows someone that is or has been a mistress. no one i know, however, knows any mistresses or former mistresses packing heat and using same.

  56. RichinMN says: Jul 8, 2009 6:54 PM

    Conspiracy theorists always thrive on the uninformed (and they themselves are uninformed). Listen to the press conference.

    Her right hand was untestable for residue – it was covered with too much blood

  57. empty13 says: Jul 8, 2009 7:09 PM

    she used 2 hands. on the gun.
    recent news tale about an oriental bidnessman… he had 5 mistresses… biz was bad so he had to cut costs – and let one mistress go.
    they had a beauty pageant. talent contest. whole 9 yards. the old one lost.
    then she graciously offered to take them all out for dinner. they accepted. then she drove them all off a cliff. all dead.
    but. kennedy WAS shot from the front, ie, the knoll.

  58. empty13 says: Jul 8, 2009 7:37 PM

    skf, mcnair wasnt thinking with the correct head.

  59. ihateskelator says: Jul 8, 2009 8:13 PM

    Isn’t ‘Lil Napoleon Florio a lefty? All men under 5 feet tall are lefty’s.
    So, to get past the gun powder test allyou need is a bunch of blood?
    So noted.

  60. lurker316 says: Jul 9, 2009 10:41 AM

    She was NOT too young to legally buy a handgun from a dude in the parking lot. Federal law (18 USC 44, i.e. the Gun Control Act of 1968) requires you to be only 18 or older to buy a handgun from a private citizen. It’s confusing because the same law requires you to be 21 or older to buy a handgun from a licensed gun store. I realize that’s weird and it doesn’t make sense to have two different age requirments for the purchaser, depending on the seller, but I guaranty that it’s true. Look it up.

  61. texasPHINSfan says: Jul 9, 2009 11:49 AM

    i don’t know. if you’ve ever been suicidal, you’d know that you’re also very much *not* homicidal….

  62. Mike K says: Jul 9, 2009 12:26 PM

    Yep, I know. I just also know plenty of lawyers who do not have this particular predilection.

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