Ex-NBA star Shawn Kemp pleads not guilty to shooting after allegedly firing a gun in a mall parking lot
- Former NBA star Shawn Kemp pleaded not guilty to assault charges Thursday
- No one was injured and Kemp’s lawyers insisted that he returned fire in self-defense
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Legendary six-time NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp pleaded not guilty to an assault charge Thursday after prosecutors accused him of shooting a man as he tried to recover a stolen cell phone.
Kemp was released without bail after arraignment in Washington State’s Pierce County Superior Court.
He was arrested after the shooting in a parking lot outside the Tacoma Mall on March 8 and released the next day pending further investigation.
No one was injured and Kemp’s lawyers insisted he returned fire in self-defense after tracking down and attempting to retrieve a cell phone stolen from him earlier that day.
However, a probable statement from the Tacoma Police Department, filed last month along with first-degree charges, did not indicate that Kemp had been fired upon.
Former NBA star Shawn Kemp pleaded not guilty to an assault charge Thursday. was released without bail after arraignment in Washington State’s Pierce County Superior Court
Kemp is a legendary six-time NBA All-Star and played eight years for the Seattle Supersonics
No one was injured and Kemp’s lawyers insisted that he returned fire in self-defense
It said some of his statements were not corroborated by surveillance video, and that just 13 minutes before arriving at the mall, he sent a text saying, “I’m about to record this (expletive).”
According to the document, Kemp told police that after being fired upon, he went back to his own vehicle, which he had parked a few spaces away, to get his own gun.
But the video showed him armed with the weapon as he approached the parked Toyota 4Runner where he had tracked his phone.
According to the statement, he shot the Toyota three times and then threw his gun into some bushes.
A Google Street View image shows the parking lot where the alleged drive-by took place
The driver of the 4Runner appeared to dodge one of the shots and eventually drove off, police said.
Only about five minutes elapsed from the time Kemp arrived to the time the 4Runner left.
Kemp, who has two licensed cannabis stores in Seattle, played for the Seattle SuperSonics from 1989 to 1997. He also played for Cleveland, Portland and Orlando.
Kemp made his NBA debut during the 1989-1990 season as a 20-year-old who had never played college basketball. He became known for his high-flying dunks.