Paul Pierce was literally caught in the middle of a murder investigation Thursday night -- when cops saw two men running toward the Hollywood hot spot where he was partying after a deadly shooting nearby.
Paul Pierce, Von Miller, Nikki Mudarris, Nicole Scherzinger and others were partying inside TAO restaurant in Hollywood when a shooting broke out at a nearby apartment complex. We're told one man was shot and killed.
Cops responded -- and witnessed two men running from the scene ... and mingled in with the crowd in front of the joint.
We're told officers found the men immediately, detained them -- and no one else was harmed.
But outside the club, Paul had a minor issue -- his car was trapped inside the taped-off police crime scene zone. We're told Paul left and returned later to pick up his whip.
As for the shooting, investigators are working the case.