Medical examiner: McNair killing likely murder-suicide

Steve McNair, 36, spent 13 seasons in the NFL, the majority with the Tennessee Titans.
A medical examiner says the killing of NFL quarterback Steve McNair was most likely murder-suicide carried out by his girlfriend.

“Based on the scene investigation, police interviews, autopsy results and the preliminary lab studies, this is pointed to the direction of murder-suicide,” Dr. Feng Li, the assistant medical examiner who has been handling the case, told CNN. McNair, 36, and Sahel Kazemi, 20, were found fatally shot in a condominium in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday afternoon. McNair was shot twice in the head and twice in the chest; Kazemi was shot once in her right temple, authorities said. All evidence, Li said, was “indicating that she killed Mr. McNair and killed herself.” “I’ll say greater than 95 percent,” Li told CNN when asked how confident he was with the findings. “It’s almost an assured thing. We have to be convinced otherwise.” He said he was waiting on the results of final lab tests before officially classifying Kazemi’s death a suicide. He said he will not finalize the “manner of death” on her death certificate until he has those tests.

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“I have to have everything together and then I make the opinion,” he said. “We want to be as thorough and as detailed as possible.” McNair’s death has been classified as a homicide. Li said Kazemi was found face down in the condo with the gun underneath her. The autopsy indicates she shot herself once through her right temple. “She was found on the feet of Mr. McNair, who sat on the sofa,” he said. A medium-caliber semiautomatic handgun was used. “It’s very hard for everybody involved,” Li said. “Our thoughts and prayers go to the families.” Police have planned a news conference for Wednesday afternoon. Earlier in the week, police said Kazemi purchased the pistol found at the scene Thursday evening, hours after Kazemi, who was accompanied by McNair in a Cadillac Escalade he had purchased for her, was pulled over in a traffic stop and charged with driving under the influence, police said. McNair was allowed to leave the scene in a taxi after Kazemi was given a field sobriety test. McNair, a married father of four, and Kazemi were dating, police said. Police found their bodies in the condo — leased to McNair and his friend Wayne Neeley — about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The two had been dead for hours before Neeley, who had to use a key to enter the building, discovered the clothed bodies Saturday afternoon, according to police. Neeley then called his friend Robert Gaddy, who arrived at the condo and called police.

McNair spent 13 seasons in the NFL, most of his career was spent with the Tennessee Titans, where he excelled on the field as quarterback. He was named the NFL’s co-MVP in 2003 and spent his last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before announcing his retirement in April 2008. The Titans reached the Super Bowl in 2000, losing to the St. Louis Rams. McNair led the Titans in a dramatic comeback that day, with a final tying touchdown coming up a yard short.