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.