Man found dead in burned W. Seattle home set fire, killed himself

KOMO file photo

SEATTLE -- A man found dead in a burned West Seattle home on Friday after officers tried to evict him killed himself, the King County Sheriff's Office says.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office says the death of David M. Severtson, 51, was suicide as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies had been trying to contact Severtson for months about his eviction from the home in the 5600 block of 42nd Avenue Southwest.

They were also wary of him since he was reputed to have several guns.

So SWAT team members joined detectives on Friday at the house.

Officers later found loaded rifles propped up in several window of the house, the Sheriff's Office says. There were numerous rounds of ammunition and nearly 20 rifles inside.

A negotiator and a mental health professional tried to make contact with Severtson.

When SWAT team officers approached the front door, they saw flames inside the house.

A Seattle Fire Department investigator determined Severtson started the fire with gasoline, the Sheriff's Office says.

He was found dead inside the front door.

The Sheriff's Office had tried to reach Severtson since January 2018 about an eviction order. The Sheriff's Office said it sent letters, posted notices at the home and had deputies make visits there.

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