McNair Shot and Killed
UPDATED (7:13 p.m.)...
Former Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was shot and killed in Nashville, police have confirmed.
McNair, 36, and an unidentified woman were found dead in a condominium complex, a Nashville police spokesman told reporters at a news briefing near the property.
Investigators did not yet know the circumstances of the shooting, spokesman Don Aaron said.
"At this point, we don't know the circumstances of these shooting deaths," Aaron said. "The investigation is going to be conducted by the police department's centralized homicide unit. Those detectives have assembled here at the scene. The condominium still has to be processed. There is a lot of work yet to be done. It's going to take many hours to process the scene. I don't have any answers for you now as to what's happened, who's responsible, what the circumstances are."
Aaron said that police had tentatively identified the woman but did not release her name, pending confirmation of that identification and notification of her family.
No one had been arrested for the shooting, said Aaron, who indicated that investigators were questioning visitors to the condo complex to see if they had any information.
"We are saddened and shocked to hear the news of Steve McNair's passing today," Titans owner Bud Adams said in a written statement released by the team. "He was one of the finest players to play for our organization and one of the most beloved players by our fans. He played with unquestioned heart and leadership and led us to places that we had never reached, including our only Super Bowl. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as they deal with his untimely passing."
McNair played 13 NFL seasons, the first 11 for the Houston Oilers and Titans franchise and the final two for the Ravens.
He threw for 31,304 career yards and 174 touchdowns, and was the NFL's co-most valuable player with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in the 2003 season. McNair was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and led the Titans to a Super Bowl appearance in the 1999 season. They lost to the St. Louis Rams, falling one yard shy of a tying touchdown on McNair's last-second completion to wide receiver Kevin Dyson.
"There was nobody who didn't like Steve McNair," former Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Fassel said today. "He was probably one of the most easy-going guys I've ever been around.
"Quarterbacks can be opinionated, but Steve was real laid-back and easy to coach. He was not demonstrative, wasn't someone who needed everything to go just his way or else. You talk bout toughness, this guy is at top of the list. He played with pain, could take a hit and never ran from a hit.... You admired him because he always tried to do what you wanted him to do. He wasn't a complainer and was always the first to take responsibility, even when things weren't necessarily his fault."
McNair was plagued by injuries throughout his career and retired after playing in six games for the Ravens in the 2007 season.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of today's tragic news regarding the death of Steve McNair," former Titans general manager Floyd Reese said in a written statement released by the New England Patriots, the team for which Reese now works. "He was a player who I admired a great deal. He was a tremendous leader and an absolute warrior.
"He felt like it was his responsibility to lead by working hard every day, no matter what. I don't think there was a player who played with him or against him that didn't look up to him and respect him. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his friends and the many teammates who loved and admired him."
McNair was known as "Air McNair" for his prolific passing as a young player who made his mark in the NFL after playing in college at Alcorn State. By the end of his NFL career, he was known more for his toughness as a player. Wide receiver Derrick Mason, who played with McNair with both the Titans and Ravens, said in a televised interview today that McNair should be remembered as the toughest quarterback of his time.
"I saw countless times, going into the training room on Monday and seeing him on the table and seeing ice everywhere and trainers working on him, just to try to get him back for next Sunday," Mason told ESPN. "And he would be that way for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, sometimes even Thursday. And then on Friday he'd do a little [in practice], but still be able to go out there Sunday and play as if he wasn't hurt. It amazed me to see somebody, especially at that position, to be so tough and to play through all that he went through, with the injuries."
Mason said during the interview that he was shocked about the news of McNair's death.
"I got a phone call and, you know, you're busy throughout the day, trying to get ready for the holiday, and then someone calls you and explains to you what's going on and what happened," Mason said. "It's a shock.... We built a close bond around the 10 years that we played together that not too many people can build.... It's just something that it's just hard for you to believe."
Cornerback Samari Rolle, another former teammate in both Tennessee and Baltimore, said he "still can't even believe it.
"To lose such a good friend and a good man so soon doesn't make sense," Rolle said in a written statement released by the Ravens. "If you were going to draw a football player, the physical part, the mental part, everything about being a professional, he is your guy. I can't even wrap my arms around it. It is a sad, sad day. The world lost a great man today."
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said in a written statement: "This is so, so sad. We immediately think of his family, his boys. They are all in our thoughts and prayers. What we admired most about Steve when we played against him was his competitive spirit, and we were lucky enough to have that with us for two years. He is one of the best players in the NFL over the last 20 years.... He was a great player, one of the toughest of competitors, and a tremendous teammate, who was a leader on the field and in the locker room, especially to the young players."
The Ravens indicated they were working on a statement by linebacker Ray Lewis but Lewis was highly upset by the news.
According to a biography on his foundation's website, McNair had homes in both Nashville and his native Mt. Olive, Miss.
McNair had opened a new restaurant in Nashville in June, located near Tennessee State University.
According to McNair's biography on his foundation's website, McNair was married in 1997 and had four sons. The police indicated that the woman found dead with McNair was not his wife, Mechelle.
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