A former NBA All-Star was arrested in Washington state in connection to an alleged drive-by shooting, but prosecutors have decided not to file charges at this time, pending further investigation.
On Wednesday afternoon, former Seattle SuperSonics power forward Shawn Kemp, 53, was in the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall in Tacoma, Washington. According to TMZ, Kemp had driven to that location in order to retrieve some items that he claimed had been stolen from him the day before. Shortly after he approached the vehicle that reportedly had his belongings, shots rang out.
Witnesses captured the incident on video, which TMZ has since shared. Kemp, wearing a bright red vest, can be seen approaching another vehicle in the crowded parking lot. One witness identified the other vehicle as a Toyota 4Runner and stated that Kemp had been carrying a weapon in his right hand.
Video footage indicates that Kemp did fire into the 4Runner and then return to his own car. He then circled around the parking lot and tossed his gun into a bush, the witnesses filming the incident claimed.
"Oh s***! He's ditching the gun," the unidentified witnesses say off-camera.
Kemp then parked his car and approached either a security guard or a police officer as sirens blared in the background. The video footage also shows police locating a firearm in a nearby bush. There is no indication from the video that the witnesses recognized Kemp.
Kemp was initially arrested and booked into the Pierce County jail on one count of drive-by shooting. However, on Thursday, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced that it had not yet filed charges against him. "The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is not filing charges against Mr. Kemp today," a statement said. "This case’s status will be 'No Charges Filed' pending further investigation by Tacoma Police, and Mr. Kemp will be released."
Kemp reportedly told police later that the shooting "was in self-defense." No injuries have been reported in connection with the incident.
Kemp spent 14 years in the NBA in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was drafted by the Sonics in the first round of the 1989 draft and played eight seasons there before the team traded him to Cleveland. After that, Kemp spent a few years in Portland before finishing his career in Orlando in 2003. He was selected to be an All-Star six times and made an appearance in the NBA Finals in 1996, when the Sonics battled Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who ultimately won the series in six games.
After his retirement from the league, Kemp eventually found his way into the legal cannabis trade. More than a decade ago, he pled guilty to two minor, drug-related offenses.
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