As if there wasn’t already enough sadness to go around, former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was found dead Saturday, shot in the head. He and a 20-year-old woman along side him were killed inside his downtown condo.
McNair, who led the famous Tennessee Titans’ drive that came a yard short of forcing overtime in the 2000 Super Bowl, was found dead on a sofa in the living room 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 didn’t immediately say who was to blame for the killings, but they weren’t looking for any suspects.
McNair, 36, and 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 a DUI charges, and he was allowed to leave in a taxi.
McNair and Kazemi apparently knew each other from a restaurant the quarterback and his family frequented, but workers there wouldn’t talk about their relationship. Police also refused to release any details about their relationship, simply calling Kazemi a “friend.”
Autopsies were planned for Sunday.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said McNair’s wife, Mechelle, is “very distraught.”
“At this juncture, we do not believe she is involved,” he said. “Nothing has been ruled out, but as far as actively looking for a suspect tonight, the answer would be no.”
Fred McNair, Steve McNair’s oldest brother, said some family members likely will travel to Nashville on Monday to consult with Mechelle.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe,” Fred McNair 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 Kazemi was.
McNair was the second African American quarterback in history to lead a team to the Super Bowl, but lost to the St. Louis Rams. He played most of his career in Tennessee, but played his last two years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. He retired from the league in April 2008.