Former Sonics Star Shawn Kemp Charged with Assault: According to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, former Seattle Supersonics player Shawn Kemp is accused with one count of first-degree assault in connection with a gunshot that occurred outside a mall in Tacoma, Washington, last month.
Kemp, 53, was first detained a few hours after the March 8 incident, which a Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman and online court documents both referred to as a drive-by gunshot outside the mall. However, the prosecutor said the next day that no charges will be brought right away, and the former NBA player was freed.
In court records, it is claimed that Kemp “did with intent to inflict great bodily harm, intentionally assault another person with firearm or deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death.” On Friday, this changed and charges were brought against Kemp. Kemp’s attorney stated that his client will enter a not guilty plea.
Tim Leary, An Attorney, Stated
Tim Leary, an attorney, stated that “he has been completely cooperative with the police and the prosecutor’s office throughout this process.” He is convinced that the jury will decide that he was right in protecting himself that day after hearing from the witnesses and viewing the evidence at trial. The prosecuting attorney’s office has set an arraignment for the case for May 4. Assault in the first degree is a Class A felony in Washington. In the detective report that was provided with the probable cause declaration for the charge, it was stated that the investigator “reported that the defendant’s account of the shooting at the Tacoma Mall included statements that were not corroborated by the surveillance video.”
“Kemp was sure in his statement that he had fired at (those in a different vehicle) before running back to his car. However, the camera unmistakably captured Kemp pulling the pistol from the bag as soon as he exits his Porsche, according to the affidavit. In court records containing summaries of the video evidence, Kemp, who was driving a Porsche, is said to have gotten out and discharged a gun at a Toyota 4Runner that was parked a few spaces away from him in the mall parking lot.
Authorities said a witness supplied a video of the incident, which showed a tall Black male with a “red puffy vest, firing shots.” Responding cops discovered a.357 caliber handgun in a bush. In the court filings, authorities claim that Kemp was recognized “as the person in the video.”
Kemp, a six-time NBA All-Star, spent 14 seasons in the league from 1989 to 2003, notably with the Seattle Supersonics for his first eight years. He made his professional debut after just one year of high school, making him one of the few players selected at the time who had not attended college. In 1996, Seattle’s great power forward led the Sonics to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Chicago Bulls. Kemp also had stints with the Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The CNN station KING-TV claims that he is a businessman who resides in the Seattle region.