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

Michiana basketball legend released from jail in Washington without charges having been filed
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 12:06 AM EST
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TACOMA, Wash. (WNDU/AP) - Former NBA star and Concord alumnus Shawn Kemp acted in self-defense when he exchanged gunfire in a Washington parking lot while trying to retrieve a stolen cell phone and other items, his attorneys said on Thursday.

According to The Associated Press, Kemp, 53, was arrested by Tacoma police on Wednesday for investigation of a drive-by shooting, but was released from jail on Thursday afternoon without charges having been filed. The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said it would not file charges pending further investigation.

“We’re grateful they didn’t rush to judgment,” said Seattle criminal defense lawyer Tim Leary, who is representing 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 at the Tacoma Mall, and when Kemp confronted the individuals inside, they shot at him, and he returned fire, Boatright said.

“There was not a drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr. Kemp’s actions were reasonable and legally justified,” Boatman said. “Mr. Kemp met with law enforcement at the scene in an attempt to assist in the matter.”

Tacoma police said they recovered a gun at the scene.

At Concord, Kemp was a four-year starter for boys basketball team. He holds the school’s career, season, and game scoring records. According to the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame, he’s the county’s all-time leading career scorer.

In the NBA, Kemp was a six-time All-Star who made a name for himself with the Seattle SuperSonics from 1989 to 1997. He also played for Cleveland, Portland, and Orlando.

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