A Seattle man who told police he acted in self-defense when he shot another man in the face last Sunday has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after video-surveillance footage of the shooting was reviewed and contradicted his account, according to King County prosecutors.
Christopher Lundvall, 43, was initially booked into King County Jail on investigation of assault and was released Thursday after posting $75,000 bail, jail records show.
Kevin Siciliano, 35, was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died from his injuries Tuesday, according to charging papers. On Friday, when Lundvall was charged, a warrant was issued for his arrest and his bail was increased to $250,000, court records show.
Lundvall, who does not have prior criminal convictions, was also ordered to surrender his firearms and his concealed pistol license, court records say.
The manslaughter charge also includes a firearms enhancement.
“The video shows that the Defendant did not use lawful force to defend himself against Mr. Siciliano, who was obviously unarmed and in retreat,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Adrienne McCoy wrote in charging papers, adding Lundvall “has proven to be reckless and dangerous with his firearm.”
According to the charges:
Seattle police say Lundvall provided a statement to two homicide detectives, telling them he was on the phone with a friend around 8:20 p.m. Monday as he walked from his University District residence to a church in the 4700 block of 17th Avenue Northeast.
As he sat outside the church and continued his conversation, Lundvall told police he was approached by a stranger he described as appearing to be homeless who motioned his request for a cigarette, the charges say. Lundvall shook his head “no,” then got up and moved into the church’s parking lot.
The other man, later identified as Siciliano, followed Lundvall, picked up a cigarette from the ground and motioned for a light. When Lundvall again shook his head “no,” he told police the man punched him in the head, then threw two more punches that didn’t connect, say the charges.
According to Lundvall’s account to police, he said the other man was reaching into his waistband and so Lundvall drew his gun from his hip holster and yelled at the man as he moved toward Lundvall.
Lundvall fired one shot, striking the man in the face; he told his friend on the phone that he had to go, then called 911 to report the shooting, the charges say.
Police say Lundvall told detectives he believed the man was about to lunge at him and drive him to the ground and he was afraid the situation was about to escalate.
Detectives reviewed video-surveillance footage from the church and noted several inconsistencies between the video and Lundvall’s account, the charges say.
The video first captured Lundvall on the west side of the church at 7:45 p.m. and he appeared to be talking on the phone and smoking a cigarette while seated on a bench at the foot of the stairs; Siciliano entered the frame and paced at the top of the stairs while appearing to talk to himself, then sat down on the stairs.
Lundvall got up and moved into the parking lot at 8:10 p.m., followed several minutes later by Siciliano, the charges say.
“I did not observe any direct contact between the two in front of the church,” a detective wrote in charging papers.
Lundvall strolled around the parking lot and came within 10 feet of Siciliano, who picked something off the ground and gestured to Lundvall, who appeared to wave him off, the detective wrote, describing the footage.
Siciliano then walked up to Lundvall and punched him once — not three times — before backing away with his hands up, the charges say. As Lundvall drew his 9 mm handgun, Siciliano sidestepped away and his hands remained visible, never going to his waistband as Lundvall had described, say the charges.
Siciliano continued to back away from Lundvall, who took a couple steps forward and fired, hitting Siciliano in the face, according to the charges. Siciliano grabbed his face, stumbled and fell to the ground.
“After the first punch, Siciliano never makes another step in the direction of Lundvall and never plants himself as if to lunge at Lundvall, as Lundvall described,” the detective wrote about the footage. “After the single punch, Siciliano backs off from Lundvall and never appears to physically threaten Lundvall or advance in Lundvall’s direction.”
Lundvall is scheduled to be arraigned July 30.