NBA All Star Shawn Kemp Fired in Self Defense, Says Lawyer
Former Seattle Sonics NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp exchanged gunfire in self-defense while attempting to locate a stolen cell phone in a Washington parking lot, his attorney told the Washington Post Thursday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Tacoma Police Department reported “an altercation between the occupants of 2 cars” that “led to shots being fired at a parking lot.” Kemp was arrested that evening by the Tacoma police in Pierce County, Washington in connection to a reported drive-by shooting, but was released from jail on Thursday without charges being filed, per the report.
Kemp’s attorney, W. Scott Boatman, told WaPo that the former basketball player’s vehicle was broken into and several items were stolen, including an iPhone. His lawyer stated that Kemp tracked the phone’s location to a car at a mall in Tacoma, and that the individuals inside the vehicle shot at him when he attempted to confront them. His attorney confirmed that Kemp returned fire.
“There was not a drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr. Kemp’s actions were reasonable and legally justified,” Boatman stated. “Mr. Kemp met with law enforcement at the scene in an attempt to assist in the matter.”
Kemp was a first-round draft pick in the 1989 NBA draft, and is a six-time NBA All-Star. Nicknamed “Reign Man,” he played 625 games with Seattle from 1989 to 1997, forming a powerhouse duo with Gary Payton, and helping lead the Sonics to the NBA Finals in 1996. From 2000 to 2002, he played with the Portland Trail Blazers.
In 2022, the six-time All-Star was part of a campaign to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle. “We’re not going to stop with the process here until we get the actual Sonics back,” Kemp told The Athletic. “We want the Sonics back, because the people in this community deserves that.”
This article was updated at 9:40 pm E.T. on March 9 to include statements from Shawn Kemp’s attorney, as reported by WaPo.
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