In Washington, a former NBA All-Star was taken into police custody in connection with an alleged drive-by shooting. However, the prosecutors decided not to press charges until 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.
The incident was captured on video by witnesses, which TMZ shared. Kemp can be seen approaching another vehicle in the busy parking lot wearing a bright red vest. 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 shows that Kemp fired into the 4Runner, then returned to his car. Witnesses claimed that Kemp then circled the lot and threw his gun in a bush.
“Oh s***! “He’s getting rid of the gun,” a witness said off-camera.
Kemp then parked his vehicle and approached a security guard or a police officer. In the background, sirens were blaring. Also, the video footage shows that police located the firearm in a nearby bush. The video footage does not show that Kemp was recognized by the witnesses.
Kemp was initially taken into custody and booked in the Pierce County jail for one count of a drive-by shooting. On Thursday, however, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office stated that they had not yet filed any charges against Kemp. A statement stated that “The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will not file charges against Mr. Kemp today.” “This case will remain ‘No Charges Filled’ until further investigation by Tacoma Police is completed, and Mr. Kemp can be released while the investigation continues.”
Kemp later told police that the shooting was in self-defense. The incident has not been linked to any injuries.
Kemp spent 14 years with the NBA between the 1990s and the early 2000s. The Sonics drafted him in the first round 1989 draft. He played eight seasons there until the team traded him for Cleveland. Kemp then spent a few more years in Portland, before settling down in Orlando in 2003. Six times he was named an All-Star and made an appearance in the NBA Finals in 1996 when the Sonics faced Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls, who won the series in six games.
Kemp found his way into legal cannabis trading after he retired from the league. Kemp pleaded guilty to two minor drug-related charges more than a decade ago.