Shawn Kemp’s attorneys claim he acted in self defense in Tacoma shooting

Mar 8, 2023, 6:40 PM | Updated: Mar 9, 2023, 4:45 pm
Shawn Kemp (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Update 4:15 p.m.:

Attorneys for Shawn Kemp claim he acted out of self-defense after the former SuperSonics legend was arrested in connection with a shooting near the Tacoma Mall.

Kemp’s attorney said he opened fire while trying to retrieve his stolen cell phone and other items.

“He had a black pistol and fired five-to-10 shots at the subject in the four-runner,” a 911 call told TMZ.

Update 1:45 p.m.:

Shawn Kemp has officially been released and is out of Pierce County jail, according to KIRO Newsradio’s Nicole Jennings. Tacoma Police is continuing its investigation.

Update 12:14 p.m.:

Shawn Kemp will be released from police custody after the Prosecutor’s Office announced that no charges will be filed in the case of a shooting in a Tacoma mall parking lot Wednesday evening.

“The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is not filing charges against Mr. Kemp today. This case’s status will be ‘No Charges Filed’ pending further investigation by Tacoma Police, and Mr. Kemp will be released,” Adam Faber with the Pierce County Prosecutors Office said in a statement.

Update: 11:38 a.m.:

A JCPenney worker said that her car was hit with a bullet in what police originally called a “drive-by shooting” at the Tacoma Mall Wednesday evening. Law enforcement sources have confirmed that Shawn Kemp, the former SuperSonics all-star, was arrested in connection with the shooting.

The employee, Cheri Mahoe, says she remembers being escorted to the third floor of the store — along with coworkers and customers — because of an “incident” outside. When she left work an hour past her scheduled shift, police told her she couldn’t leave the lot yet.

The hole penetrates the top layer of the roof, but she says didn’t make it inside. She’s thankful she left work late. Tacoma Police haven’t released many details while the investigation proceeds, but they describe a “verbal altercation” that turned to gunshots.

Kemp has been booked into Pierce County Jail and is currently being held on suspicion of being involved in the shooting.


Kemp is believed to be connected with the shooting near Tacoma Mall early Wednesday afternoon. At 1:58 p.m., officers responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall at the 4500 block of S. Steele St. No injuries were reported.

Responding officers determined an altercation had occurred between two parties in vehicles. One of the drivers fired off several rounds at the occupants of the other vehicle. The victim vehicle fled the area.

KIRO Newsradio’s TV partner, KIRO 7 obtained video shot outside the mall showing a man in red standing next to a Porsche, which KIRO 7 has confirmed is registered to Kemp.

Officers located Kemp who had allegedly fired off the shots on Tacoma Mall property and detained him without incident, a police source told The Jason Rantz Show.

Sam Campbell contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Shawn Kemp’s attorneys claim he acted in self defense in Tacoma shooting