The retired N.B.A. star Shawn Kemp was released from jail on Thursday after prosecutors decided not to pursue immediate charges against him in connection with a shooting.
The police in Tacoma, Wash., had arrested Mr. Kemp, 53, on Wednesday and accused him of being involved in a drive-by shooting. The Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in a statement that it would not file charges against Mr. Kemp on Thursday, while noting that it could do so later pending further investigation by the police.
The Tacoma Police Department said on Twitter that the occupants of two vehicles had an altercation and shots were fired in a parking lot just before 2 p.m. Wednesday. One car fled the scene, no injuries were reported and a gun was recovered, the police said. An unnamed 53-year-old man was booked into jail for a drive-by shooting, according to the police department’s post. Booking logs for Pierce County Corrections showed a 53-year-old man named Shawn Travis Kemp had been booked into jail on Wednesday on suspicion of a felony drive-by shooting charge.
In a statement to ESPN on Thursday, a lawyer for Mr. Kemp said some of his personal belongings had been stolen from his vehicle earlier in the week and that Mr. Kemp was able to track his iPhone to a vehicle in a parking lot. Mr. Kemp had gone to retrieve his property, the lawyer said, when people inside the vehicle shot at him and Mr. Kemp “returned fire in self-defense.”
The lawyer called Mr. Kemp’s actions “reasonable and legally justified.”
A state statute on drive-by shootings criminalizes the reckless discharge of a firearm in a way that “creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person.” The statute applies to people who shoot from a vehicle or near one that was used to transport a shooter or a weapon.
Mr. Kemp’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Over a 14-year N.B.A. career, Mr. Kemp was a six-time All-Star who went by the nickname the Reign Man. He came to star for the Seattle SuperSonics, where he played eight seasons, leading them to the 1996 N.B.A. finals with point guard Gary Payton.
Mr. Kemp has lately been pursuing a second career as a cannabis entrepreneur in Washington state, where recreational use of the drug was legalized in 2012. Last month, he celebrated the opening of a second cannabis dispensary in Seattle that bears his name.
April Rubin contributed reporting.