Ex-NBA star Shawn Kemp released from jail after arrest in drive-by shooting investigation

Former NBA star Shawn Kemp was released from jail on Thursday after a drive-by shooting investigation in Tacoma. Prosecutors say right now they are not filing charges against the former SuperSonic.

Kemp was booked into jail in connection with a drive-by shooting outside the Tacoma Mall, but was released a day later after no charges were filed. 

The shooting call came into police just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Shots were fired from a passing vehicle in the parking lot on the northeast side of the mall near the Courtesy Tire store.

Police said nobody was hurt in the shooting, and that the suspect initially identified as a 53-year-old man was detained at the scene.

Multiple sources confirmed to FOX 13 News that Kemp was the suspect.

Sources close to Kemp told FOX 13's David Rose that he had property stolen from his car on Tuesday, tracked his iPhone to Tacoma on Wednesday and when he approached the vehicle, a suspect shot at him. He fired back in self-defense.

On Thursday, the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said it was not filing charges against Kemp: "The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is not filing charges against Mr. Kemp today. This case’s status will be "No Charges Filed" pending further investigation by Tacoma Police, and Mr. Kemp will be released."

W. Scott Boatman, Kemp’s attorney, provided the following statement to FOX 13 News: "Late Tuesday evening Shawn Kemp’s vehicle was broken into and numerous items were stolen, including an iPhone. On Thursday, Mr. Kemp tracked his iPhone to an occupied vehicle in a shopping mall parking lot in Tacoma. When Mr. Kemp approached the vehicle in an attempt to retrieve his stolen property, individuals inside the vehicle shot at Mr. Kemp, who then returned fire in self-defense. There was not a drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr. Kemp’s actions were reasonable and legally justified. 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."

Kemp is a 6-time NBA All-Star. He was a first-round draft pick in the 1989 NBA draft.

From 1989 to 1997 he played 625 games with Seattle and helped the Sonics reach the NBA Finals in 1996.

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MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 10:  Shawn Kemp #40 of the Seattle Supersonics competes in the slam dunk contest during NBA All Star Weekend on February 10, 1990 at the Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Kemp was arrested in 2005 in Shoreline for investigation of drug possession and in 2006 in another drug investigation in Texas.

Since his retirement from professional basketball, Kemp has pursued multiple local business opportunities banking on his Sonics career.

He and his business partners are operating two locations in Seattle of Shawn Kemp's Cannabis.

The opening of the Belltown location marked the first black-owned marijuana dispensary in Seattle.

Kemp was also the owner of Oskar’s Kitchen, a sports bar in Lower Queen Anne, that shuttered in 2015.

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In 2022, Kemp was part of the campaign to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle, telling The Athletic he wouldn’t stop until the city got "the actual Sonics back."