Police defend McNair investigation amidst CBS criticism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Nashville Police Department is standing by its investigation into the deaths of former Titans’ quarterback Steve McNair and girlfriend Sahel Kazemi after a national report out Monday raises questions about the murder-suicide.

Metro police have maintained almost from the start that McNair was shot by 20-year-old Kazemi, who then turned the gun on herself.

In a story aired Monday on CBS’s The Early Show, reporter Armen Keteyian interviewed friends and a former boyfriend of Kazemi, who claimed they did not believe that she killed McNair and then herself.

Sahel Kazemi
Never before seen video shows Sahel Kazemi waiting to be booked in the Metro jail after a DUI arrest in Nashville.

The report shows never before seen video featuring Kazemi, waiting to be booked in the Metro jail after she was arrested on July 2 for driving under the influence in Nashville.

It was just hours after she and McNair, a passenger in the car she was driving, were pulled over and just two days before Kazemi and McNair were found dead in a downtown area condo he shared with a friend.

The CBS report suggests that Kazemi’s smiling, playful nature in the booking video seem far different from the picture of a despondent young woman painted by police.

Another segment of the CBS report questioned when Kazemi purchased what police say was the murder weapon from a man later identified as Adrian Gilliam.

Initially, police said handgun was sold to Kazemi by Gilliam on July 2, after she was released from the DUI arrest and booking.

CBS said it uncovered Kazemi’s waitress workplace records that indicate the she did not leave her waitress job at Dave and Busters to buy the handgun when investigators first say she did.

In his report, Keteyian says that suggests Metro police may not know when Kazemi purchased the gun.

Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron countered that CBS must not have considered proceedings during Gilliam’s guilty plea in Nashville Federal Court, when the suspect stipulated in a statement-of-fact that his gun was sold to Kazemi on July 3, the day before the murder-suicide.

Aaron said originally investigators believed the purchase was made on July 2 because of what they were told initially during interviews.  He said the date was later updated during subsequent interviews.

He said the initial error of when Kazemi purchased the gun “does not make any difference” because both dates came after the DUI arrest, and remain consistent with police beliefs that she was despondent over her relationship endings with McNair.

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