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Police say woman with McNair bought gun

Authorities are still leaning to a muder-suicide in the case.

July 07, 2009|Scott Calvert

The pistol apparently used to kill former NFL quarterback Steve McNair and his girlfriend Saturday was bought by the 20-year-old woman less than two days earlier, Nashville police said Monday.

Authorities stressed that they have not concluded that Sahel Kazemi killed the retired football star and then turned the gun on herself. Police are awaiting the results of a ballistics analysis, including gunshot residue tests, and tracking down details of the pair's final hours.

"We are beginning to make some headway into trying to understand what took place," police spokesman Don Aaron said at a news conference. "Do we fully understand what took place? No."

An autopsy determined that McNair, 36, was shot three times from a few feet away and once in the temple at close range, according to the Tennessean newspaper. Kazemi was shot once in the forehead, with the semiautomatic gun ending up beneath her body.

Sunday evening, detectives interviewed Kazemi's ex-boyfriend, Keith Norfleet, whose stepmother said he had hoped to win her back right up to her death. Norfleet, 24, was "very cooperative" and was allowed to go home afterward, the police spokesman said.

Norfleet, who could not be reached for comment, has said in published reports that Kazemi had intended to end her relationship with McNair. Relatives of Kazemi, however, have told news outlets she believed McNair planned to divorce his wife, Mechelle, though no divorce filings had been made.

It was Thursday evening when Kazemi bought the pistol from a person Aaron would not identify. "This was a private sale from person to person," he said, declining further details. Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase a gun, said Kristin Helm, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The two bodies were found Saturday afternoon by Wayne Neeley, a longtime friend of McNair who rented the condominium with him. Police believe McNair and Kazemi died early that morning.


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