Lamar Odom speaks out after reports said that he was caught up in alleged Hooters shooting
In the early hours of Friday the 20th of June, gunshots were allegedly fired in a Hooters restaurant in Queens, New York, with TMZ soon after reporting that retired American professional basketball player Lamar Odon had been involved.
"Scary moment for Lamar Odom ... someone pulled a gun and fired multiple shots during an altercation with the NBA star ... TMZ Sports has learned," wrote the site.
They continued to claim that: "witnesses told police Lamar and his group of friends were leaving the restaurant when they got into a verbal altercation with another group. Part of the argument was captured on surveillance. One witness told cops a man from the other group pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots into the air -- nobody was hit. That group fled the scene, according to the witness."
However, in the aftermath of the alleged shooting, the former Los Angeles Lakers player has taken to social media to set the record straight. Correcting TMZ Sports' report, the NBA championship winner has stated that he was near the scene when the incident happened but was "not involved in any way".
"I want to let my fans know that I am OK," the basketball player wrote in an Instagram message. "Thanks for your messages I will try to respond to as many fans I can. Just to share the ‘truth’ here with you all. I was near the scene when it just happened and not involved in any way! Thanks, Lamar Odom."
The 38-year-old followed up his Instagram post with a tweet that read: "Just to share the 'truth' here with you all. I was near the scene when it just happened and not involved in any way ! @TMZ," his tagging of the TMZ Twitter handle perhaps making it clear to his followers that he didn't appreciate the story being published.
In addition, an NYPD public information officer has reportedly confirmed to People that members of Lamar's team were involved in the "verbal dispute" but the athlete was simply "present on scene", not accused of any wrongdoing, and is cooperating fully with police.
He was not the intended target or involved in the dispute, but was present on scene, the PIO officer said, also stating that an investigation in the incident is currently underway.
The Hooters restaurant shooting comes days after Lamar announced that he was officially leaving the United States to move to China. A now-deleted Instagram post read: "Happy & Proud to announce that I have signed a global management contract with my new @ninetyplusofficial family and decided to move to Shenzhen, China. This month, I have spent a few weeks in Shenzhen (China) signing new deals and I feel so overwhelmed and blessed with my new Chinese business partners and management @mr2rchiang @iamzoul".
It continued: “It’s a huge step for me and I feel so happy to be writing new episodes of my life in another country that’s so HUGE in basketball. I am grateful to have you all as my supporting fans through my ups and downs. I have so much love for you all and I will be sharing some exciting stuff about my new journey with you here. Much love and respect."
We wish Lamar the best of luck in China!