Ex-Sonics star Shawn Kemp released after shooting, no charges immediately filed

'There was not a drive-by shooting as previously reported,' Kemp's lawyer said in a statement Thursday.

12 Jun 1996:  Forward Shawn Kemp of the Seattle Supersonics gazes up at the score board as he takes an opportunity to catch his breath between plays during the Sonics 107-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Championship Finals at the Key Arena in
Shawn Kemp, seen here during the 1996 NBA Finals. (Getty)

Former Seattle SuperSonics star Shawn Kemp was released from jail on Thursday without charges being filed against him one day after he was arrested following an alleged shooting.

A spokesman for the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office told the Associated Press in an emailed statement that charges weren't being filed, pending further investigation.

Kemp's lawyer, Scott Boatman, issued a statement via ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday afternoon that said Kemp tracked his stolen iPhone to an occupied vehicle in the mall parking lot after his car was broken into and burglarized. When Kemp approached the vehicle, the individuals shot at him and he "returned fire in self-defense," Kemp's attorney said in the statement.

"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."

Pierce County jail records show Kemp was booked on a drive-by shooting charge Wednesday afternoon. Per Tacoma police, an altercation between the occupants of two cars led to shots being fired in a parking lot near the Tacoma Mall. One car fled, and no injuries were reported, according to police. A gun was recovered on the scene.

Seattle's KIRO 7 published video of the alleged incident Wednesday evening. The video shows a man waving an object in his left hand while engaged in a verbal confrontation with another man in a mall parking lot. The man then gets into his Porsche and drives away from the scene. KIRO 7 reported the Porsche is registered to Kemp and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department confirmed he was arrested in connection with the shooting.

Kemp played 14 seasons in the NBA from 1989-2003 after being selected 17th overall in the 1989 draft. He spent his first eight seasons with the SuperSonics, where he made five of his six NBA All-Star teams as one of the league's most physical and athletic players. He and Gary Payton led the SuperSonics to the 1996 NBA Finals against Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. He played six more seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic.

Kemp has remained engaged in the Seattle community since his retirement and has campaigned to bring the NBA back to the city. He owned the now-shuttered sports bar Oskar’s Kitchen in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood and opened up a cannabis dispensary in Seattle in 2020.