Seattle Pot Shop Owner Shawn Kemp Involved in Tacoma Shooting

Shawn Kemp in one of his two Seattle cannabis stores.

Seattle dispensary owner and former Sonic Shawn Kemp was involved in a shooting incident at the Tacoma Mall on Mar. 8. Tacoma PD reported:

"An altercation between the occupants of 2 cars led to shots being fired at a parking lot in the 4500 blk of S. Steele St. One car fled. No injuries were reported. A gun was recovered. A 53-yr-old male was booked for Drive-By Shooting. The investigation is ongoing."

That male person was Kemp, the six-time NBA All-Star who played for 14 season with the Sonics, Cavaliers, Trailblazers and Magic. But he's best known for his consistent play with the Sonics (who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008) during his first nine NBA seasons as a power forward and has stayed in the state, becoming a licensed cannabis business with two Shawn Kemp's Cannabis shops in Seattle's Belltown and SODO sections. The latter store opened less than a month ago.

According to FOX 13, Kemp "had property stolen from his car on Tuesday, tracked his iPhone to Tacoma on Wednesday and when he approached the vehicle, a suspect shot at him. He fired back in self-defense."

Tacoma is 35 miles south of Seattle. While the other car drove away, police arrested Kemp and detained him at Pierce County Jail. He was released on Mar. 9 without any charges. 

Kemp allegedly "returned fire in self-defense."

Kemp’s attorney W. Scott Boatman added: "Late Tuesday evening Shawn Kemp’s vehicle was broken into and numerous items were stolen, including an iPhone. On Thursday, Mr. Kemp tracked his iPhone to an occupied vehicle in a shopping mall parking lot in Tacoma. When Mr. Kemp approached the vehicle in an attempt to retrieve his stolen property, individuals inside the vehicle shot at Mr. Kemp, who then returned fire in self-defense. There was not a drive by shooting as previously reported and Mr. Kemp’s actions were reasonable and legally justified. Mr. Kemp met with law enforcement at the scene in an attempt to assist in the matter. Mr Kemp has retained criminal attorneys to represent him and ensure that he is exonerated of all charges."


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.