Man found dead inside W. Seattle home after police eviction-attempt committed suicide

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SEATTLE – The King County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a man found dead inside a West Seattle home after police attempted an eviction had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He was identified as David M. Severtson, 51.

Members of a SWAT team, a hostage negotiator and a medical health professional tried to establish contact with Severtson on the morning of May 11 in a bid to carry out a court-ordered eviction from the home in the 5600 block of 42nd Avenue SW.

A man’s body was found inside a house after a SWAT team entered and found it on fire when they went to enforce an eviction Friday morning. Police said that when Severtson did not respond to multiple requests to come out of the home, the SWAT team approached the front door and noticed flames inside the home.

A Seattle Fire Department investigator concluded Severtson started the fire, using gasoline, near the front door.

Police said that after the fire was out, King County sheriff’s detectives discovered nearly 20 rifles inside the home, with some loaded ones propped near several windows of the home.

Seattle police Severtson was the son of the former owner, a woman who was a ward of the state and died late last year.

Sheriff's deputies told Q13 News they went to the location on Friday with mental health professionals trying to reach a peaceful resolution. The reason a SWAT team was there was that the man was believed to have about two dozen guns, and repeated attempts to remove him from the home were unsuccessful.

A video from Rasmus Ramussen on Twitter showed police telling people to take cover, and ordering firefighters on the scene to approach the house with body armor.

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