Former Seattle SuperSonics star Shawn Kemp was charged with first-degree assault Friday after allegedly firing at a car in a mall parking lot. File Photo by Christine Chew'/UPI | License Photo
April 15 (UPI) -- Authorities have charged former Seattle SuperSonics star Shawn Kemp with first-degree assault after allegedly shooting three rounds from a .357 revolver into a parked SUV last month.
In charging papers filed Friday, prosecutors also added a firearm enhancement charge, which would add a mandatory five years to any prison sentence, the Seattle Times reported.
Kemp was arrested March 8 after police were called to the Tacoma Mall for an altercation.
Pierce County, Wash., prosecutors alleged that Kemp arrived at the mall, walked up to a Toyota 4Runner and got into an argument with the driver, then shot three rounds into the car while the driver attempted to dislodge his door from an adjacent car.
When police arrived at the mall, a witness said that Kemp was dressed in a red puffy vest firing rounds into the car. He then allegedly tossed the revolver into the bushes.
Kemp claimed the car's driver had his stolen cellphone and that he was shot at first, but a detective investigating the case said video obtained by police contradicted his account. The former NBA star later admitted to throwing the revolver into the bushes but couldn't explain why, the detective said.
The 4Runner, which turned out to be stolen, was found three days later with bullet holes in it and the driver of the vehicle has not been located, police added.
Kemp's defense attorneys said he will plead not guilty.
"He has been fully cooperative with the police and the prosecutor's office throughout this process," attorneys Tim Leary and Aaron Kiviat said in a statement to media outlets. "He is confident that once the jury hears from the witnesses and sees the evidence at trial, they will conclude that he was justified in defending himself that afternoon."
Kemp was chosen by the Sonics in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft and seven years later helped lead the team to the NBA finals, where they were defeated by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
The six-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection spent his first eight seasons with Seattle -- now the Oklahoma City Thunder -- and later playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic.
Kemp averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game over his 14-year career. He logged a career-high 20.5 points per game in 1998-99 for the Cavaliers and averaged a double-double each season from 1992-93 through 1996-97.