NBA legend Shawn Kemp was released from jail and prosecutors said they currently aren't filing charges against him in relation to a shooting incident that led to his arrest on Wednesday (March 8), FOX 13 Seattle reports.
Kemp's attorney, Scott Boatman, issued a statement to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski -- who initially reported the former player's arrest Wednesday night -- in response his client's release.
"There was not a drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr. Kemp's actions were reasonable and legally justified," Boatman wrote. "Mr. Kemp met with law enforcement at the scene in an attempt to assist in the matter. Mr. Kemp has retained criminal attorneys Aaron Kiviat and Tim Leary to represent him and ensure that he is exonerated of all charges."
On Thursday (March 9), police audio from Kemp's arrest revealed that officers responded to a report of "two subjects firing shots at each other," TMZ Sports reports.
Witnesses told police that Kemp, 53, fired 5-10 shots at another vehicle, according to the police dispatch audio. Sources close to Kemp claimed he acted in self-defense, having had his property stolen from his vehicle on Tuesday (March 7), tracked his iPhone to Tacoma on Wednesday (March 8) and was shot at before firing back, FOX 13 Seattle reports.
No injuries were reported in relation to the incident. Video footage appears to show Kemp firing a gun before his arrest.
The footage, which was also obtained and shared by TMZ Sports, shows a man resembling Kemp approaching a vehicle in a parking lot and yelling something before firing a single shot on Wednesday. The man is seen wearing a red vest, which resembled one worn by Kemp in a photo shared earlier that day.
Witnesses told TMZ Sports that they heard multiple gunshots before recording the incident on their phones and said Kemp drove around the parking lot and threw his gun in a bush before being detained by police. The footage showed officers arresting the NBA legend, as well as searching a bush for the handgun.
Sources close to Kemp claimed he acted in self-defense, having had his property stolen from his vehicle on Tuesday (March 7), tracked his iPhone to Tacoma on Wednesday and was shot at before firing back, FOX 13 Seattle reports. No injuries were reported in relation to the incident.
The Tacoma Police Department initially said a 53-year-old man was booked in a drive-by shooting following "an altercation between two occupants" of two vehicles in a post shared on Twitter Wednesday night. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski quote-tweeted the report and confirmed that Kemp was listed on the Pierce County (Washington) Corrections inmate listings.
The website lists Shawn Travis Kemp, 53, as having been booked into jail at 5:58 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
Kemp is best known for his stint with the Seattle Supersonics during the first eight seasons of his NBA career, which included a Western Conference championship in 1996 and also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers (1997-2000), Portland Trail Blazers (2000-02) and Orlando Magic (2002-02). The former McDonald's High School All-American was selected by Sonics out of high school at No. 17 overall in the 1989 NBA Draft and was a six-time NBA All-Star (1993-98) and a three-time All-NBA second team selection (1994-96), as well as being widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers in league history.
Kemp averaged 16.2 points and 9.6 rebounds during his eights seasons in Seattle, as well as 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds during his 14-year NBA career. The 53-year-old had previously been arrested for drug possession in April 2005 after he and another man were found by King County Sheriff's Office deputies with a small amount of cocaine, approximately 60 grams of marijuana and a semiautomatic pistol.
Kemp pleaded guilty to the charge and was later arrested again for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Houston, Texas, in June 2006.
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