GALVESTON — A grand jury could be asked to decide whether a fatal shooting was a crime or an act of self-defense, authorities said Wednesday.

Kevin Spell, 47, shot Marshall Provost, 23, about 3 p.m. Saturday after Provost was ordered off the property in the 500 block of 43rd Street, Galveston police Lt. Michael Gray said. No charges were filed.

An ambulance took Provost to the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he died Saturday night after suffering two gunshot wounds, one to the abdomen and another to the leg. His death was ruled a homicide, said John Florence, a spokesman for the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Police spoke to three witnesses and Spell, who cooperated with the investigation, Gray said.

Spell and a neighbor were sitting on the porch when a stranger walked up and began calling Spell’s dog, Gray said.

“They asked him to leave and leave the dog alone, and they said that’s when (Provost) became angry,” Gray said. “(Spell) went upstairs to his own residence, and (Provost) came on the property and followed him upstairs.”

Spell went inside and grabbed his gun and his phone to call police. That’s when Provost, a Galveston resident, confronted Spell in the doorway and reached for the gun, Gray said.

“From what we’re being told, (Provost) grabbed (Spell) and began assaulting him,” Gray said. “That’s when (Spell) shot (Provost) and police were called.”

Provost took a few steps down the stairs and laid down. Three witnesses told police that Provost was the aggressor, Gray said.

No charges have been filed, but police officers investigating the shooting are talking with the district attorney’s office about the case.

The district attorney’s office would wait until the police investigation is complete before making a decision on whether to present the case with or without charges to a grand jury, Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady said.

The Texas Penal Code allows, with some restrictions, the use of deadly force to defend against someone unlawfully attempting to forcefully enter a person’s occupied dwelling, vehicle or business.

No one is required to retreat before using deadly force if they have a right to be in the location where force was used and as long as the person using force wasn’t engaged in criminal activity and didn’t provoke anyone, according to the Penal Code.

Contact reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or

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