Lawyers: Former NBA star Shawn Kemp fired in self-defense

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Former NBA star Shawn Kemp acted in self-defense as he exchanged gunfire in a Washington parking lot while trying to recover a stolen cell phone and other items, his lawyers said Thursday.

Kemp, 53, was arrested by Tacoma police on Wednesday for investigating a drive-by shooting, but was released from jail Thursday afternoon with no charges filed. The Pierce County Attorney General’s Office said it would not press charges pending further investigation.

“We’re thankful they didn’t rush into a judgment,” said Seattle criminal defense attorney Tim Leary, who represents Kemp.

In a written statement, another Kemp attorney, W. Scott Boatman, said Kemp’s vehicle was broken into on Tuesday night and several items were taken, including an iPhone. Kemp tracked the phone’s location to an occupied car in the Tacoma Mall, and when Kemp confronted the individuals inside, they fired at him and he returned fire, Boatright said.

“There was no drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr Kemp’s actions were reasonable and legally justified,” Boatman said. Mr. Kemp met with police at the scene in an effort to assist with the case.

Tacoma police said they found a gun at the scene.

Kemp, who has two licensed cannabis stores in Seattlewas a six-time NBA all-star and played for the Seattle SuperSonics from 1989 to 1997. He also played for Cleveland, Portland and Orlando.

Kemp debuted in the NBA during the 1989–90 season as a 20-year-old who had never played college basketball. He became known for his high-flying, athletic dunks.

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