Seattle SuperSonics legend Shawn Kemp was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail on Wednesday after he was allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting at the Tacoma Mall.
Video has since surfaced that appears to show the yelling 53-year-old former NBA star approaching a vehicle, pointing his gun, and pulling the trigger in the mall’s parking lot at around 2 p.m.
TMZ obtained the footage and says witnesses told the outlet that they heard multiple gunshots, prompting them to pull out their phones and hit record.
According to the witnesses, Kemp drove around the parking lot and threw his gun into a bush before speaking with officers and urging them to pursue the other involved vehicle.
Officers can later be seen retrieving a handgun from the bush.
Sources close to Kemp told Fox13 that the six-time NBA All-Star was acting in self-defense.
“Sources close to SuperSonics legend Shawn Kemp tell me he had property stolen from his car yesterday, tracked his iPhone to Tacoma today and when he approached the vehicle, a suspect shot at him,” Fox13’s David Rose tweeted on Wednesday. “He fired back in self-defense.”
BREAKING: Sources close to SuperSonics legend Shawn Kemp tell me he had property stolen from his car yesterday, tracked his iPhone to Tacoma today and when he approached the vehicle, a suspect shot at him. He fired back in self-defense. https://t.co/rgJy64Xoyg @fox13seattle
— David Rose (@DavidRoseFOX13) March 9, 2023
A Fox13 viewer caught Kemp’s arrest on video.
Fortunately, no one was hurt in the shooting, police said.
This wasn’t Kemp’s first run-in with the law since his retirement from the NBA in 2003.
The 1989 first-round draft pick was picked up in Shoreline in 2005 on suspicion of drug possession, and, the following year, he was arrested on another drug charge in Texas.
“Since his retirement from professional basketball,” Fox13 reports, “Kemp has pursued multiple local business opportunities banking on his Sonics career.”
He and his business partners opened Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis in Belltown, making Kemp the first black businessman to own a legal marijuana dispensary in Seattle. The group expanded and now operates in two locations within the city.
Previously, Kemp owned Oskar’s Kitchen, “a sports bar in Lower Queen Anne, that shuttered in 2015,” according to the outlet.
Earlier on the day of the shooting, Kemp was spotted wearing the same red vest while “touring a cannabis grow house,” TMZ reports.
The athlete played 625 games with Seattle and is credited with helping the Sonics to reach the NBA Finals in 1996. And in 2022, he joined the campaign to bring an NBA franchise back to the city.
Online, reports of his arrest appear to be raising more questions than answers, with many users on Twitter taking issue with the incident being characterized as a “drive-by shooting.”
“Why was this reported as a drive by shooting like the mafia or bike gangs,” asked one user.
Why was this reported as a drive by shooting like the mafia or bike gangs. https://t.co/jF3ou3YNby
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) March 9, 2023
I just wanna know how it got framed as a drive by shooting when he was outside his car.
— Teddy Perkins (@Worker0wned) March 9, 2023
He’s clearly not in a car so it’s not responsible to characterize him as being involved in a drive-by shooting.
— Woke = moral (@AAnswer8) March 9, 2023
Others wondered why Kemp hadn’t been released on bail.
“Are you surprised he hasn’t been bailed by now?” one user asked. “Would have thought he’d be in and out pretty quick considering no one was hurt and he isn’t a flight risk.”
Are you surprised he hasn’t been bailed by now? Would have thought he’d be in and out pretty quick considering no one was hurt and he isn’t a flight risk
— golfngambling (@golfngambling) March 9, 2023
And another fan noted that all Kemp had to do was tweet his location and the entire mess with the police could have been avoided.
“Shawn, just tweet your locale and you’ll have an army of 5000 local fans get your property back in a jiffy,” the user wrote. “Seattle needs and protects it’s long time heroes.”
Shawn, just tweet your locale and you’ll have an army of 5000 local fans get your property back in a jiffy.
Seattle needs and protects it’s long time heroes.
— Think Aloud (@cowanusa) March 9, 2023
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