Community holds candlelight vigil to remember McNair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In the Titans’ 10-year history, few players hold a larger presence than Steve McNair.

With prayer and candlelight, dozens gathered Sunday evening in McKissack Park to mourn and remember the Nashville legend, who was found shot to death Saturday afternoon.

Some were Titans fans, who admired McNair’s work on the field, but most became even bigger fans of his work with the people of Nashville.

Steve McNair
Steve McNair

“He was an awesome force, not just in the football field but in our community,” said John Gassaway, pastor at McNair Hills Baptist Church.  “He drew Nashville together.”

Titans’ fan Elise Taylor was among those in attendance.

“Someone called me and said you heard the news, they know I’m a Titan fan, I said, ‘No,’ they said, ‘Steve McNair died.’  I said, ‘No, this can’t be real’,” she recalled.  “It’s sad that this happened to him, he felt like a brother, a friend.”

“We’re here to support the family as they go through bereavement we want them to know they’re not alone,” Pastor Gassaway continued.

Along with his talent, it’s McNair’s generosity that seems to stand out the most.

“[He] wanted to see every kid have something and enjoy life he wanted everybody to pay attention to their children,” Taylor added.  “I hate for a place he wanted to be his home to take his life so it’s real sad, it’s real sad.”

McNair, 36, was found shot to death, along with 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, who he had been dating for several months, Saturday afternoon in downtown Nashville.

The investigation into the details surrounding his death is ongoing.

Since the shooting, a memorial outside McNair’s north Nashville restaurant, Gridiron 9 on Jefferson Street, has grown.

Fans and friends of McNair have left flowers, cards and stuffed animals, and wrote messages remembering the football star on the restaurant’s window.

The McNair family spokesperson said fans wishing to pay their respects can do so at Gridiron 9.

The restaurant opened just a few weeks ago.

Restaurant co-owners tell News 2 that Gridiron 9 will re-open in about two weeks.

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