NASHVILLE, July 8 -- Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was shot four times and killed by his girlfriend Sahel Kazemi, who then used the same gun to shoot herself in the head, according to a Nashville police investigation and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report.The majority of intimate partner murders are committed by men against women (in 2005, 329 men were victims compared to 1,181 women), but the violence is just as real and just as wrong when the person murdered is a man and when the person who commits that murder is a woman.
As public pressure mounted to solve the July 4 murder of the one-time star of the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, Police Chief Ronal W. Serpas, at a news conference, portrayed Kazemi, 20, as despondent and increasingly tormented by a rush of personal problems culminating with the discovery that the married McNair was also seeing another woman.
There are other ways for people, men and women, to deal with financial hardships and personal or relationship stress other than violence. From the details of the crime scene there is no way that the shooting of McNair was an act of self-defense. Instead the police believe that he was asleep when he was shot.
Kazemi bought a loaded 9 mm pistol from an acquaintance shortly after she was arrested for driving under the influence which was about 2 days before the murder. After that purchase she apparently talked about suicide, but it's unclear if the person she bought the pistol from broke any laws through the sale or had any hint that she was considering using it. What's also unclear is whether anyone who heard her talk about suicide was aware that she'd purchased a weapon.
Too often people who hear someone talk about suicide or even murder don't take any action because they assume that either the threat isn't real or they believe there is nothing they can do since no crime has been committed. This is why domestic violence and suicide hotlines are so important. Bystanders can call and seek options.
Sometimes the best efforts by everyone around people considering violence cannot prevent that person from crossing the line and sometimes the people considering violence can present themselves as incapable of violence. But sometimes bystanders can see signs of violence and can help someone see and take a non-violent path.