NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Police confirmed Wednesday that ex-NFL star Steve McNair's 20-year-old girlfriend killed him before turning the gun on herself.
They said they may never know what was going through Sahel Kazemi's mind when she shot McNair in his condominium early Saturday, but interviews with friends indicated she was becoming increasingly distraught over events in her life, including financial problems. Police said she also suspected McNair was seeing another woman.
She told a friend on Friday that "My life is a ball of s--- and I should end it," Police Chief Ronal Serpas said.
Police earlier had labeled McNair's death a homicide, but awaited further tests and investigation before saying for sure what happened.
McNair, a quarterback for the Tennessee Titans most of his career, met Kazemi six months ago at a restaurant where she was a waitress and his family often ate. She seemed happy and eager to build a life with him, but something went wrong.
Kazemi had recently told an associate that her "personal life was all screwed up." She had mounting debts and her roommate was moving out, which would have doubled her rent.
"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, though there was no indication she told anyone she planned to harm McNair.
Serpas said detectives learned that Kazemi recently found out about another young woman she thought McNair was romantically involved with and even followed that woman home, though she did not confront her.
Police believe McNair was asleep on a sofa at a condominium he rented with a friend when Kazemi shot him in the head. She then apparently shot him twice in the chest before shooting him again in the head and then shooting herself.
She sat next to his body and tried to position herself to fall into his lap when she died. She did, but her body slid to the floor and ended up at McNair's feet, Serpas said. The gun was found underneath Kazemi.
Her family told reporters Kazemi was so confident McNair was divorcing his wife of 12 years that she was preparing to sell her furniture and move in with him.
But associate Mike Mu, who has worked with McNair's charitable association for years, said McNair's wife, Mechelle McNair, "didn't know who this girl is." No records of divorce proceedings have surfaced.
Two days before the shooting, police stopped Kazemi driving the Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle that McNair gave her for her birthday in May.
According to an arrest affidavit, Kazemi had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on her breath. She refused a breath test and told an officer "she was not drunk, she was high." She was charged with DUI. McNair was with her but not charged. He later made her bail.