Washington Shooting Suspect Arrested 09/25 10:26
The 20-year-old suspect in the deadly Washington state mall shooting said
nothing and appeared "zombie-like" when he was arrested by authorities nearly
24 hours into an intense manhunt, authorities said.
BURLINGTON, Wash. (AP) -- The 20-year-old suspect in the deadly Washington
state mall shooting said nothing and appeared "zombie-like" when he was
arrested by authorities nearly 24 hours into an intense manhunt, authorities
As the small city absorbed the news, critical questions remained, including
the shooter's motive.
Island County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Hawley said he spotted Arcan Cetin from a
patrol car Saturday evening in Oak Harbor, Washington, and immediately
recognized him as the suspect who killed five people at the Cascade Mall in
Hawley said at a news conference they had received information that Cetin,
of Oak Harbor, was in the area. Cetin, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey,
is a legal permanent resident who has been living in Oak Harbor, authorities
said. He had been arrested once before in the county for assault, Hawley said.
"I literally hit my brakes, did a quick turn, I jumped out," Hawley said.
"We both jumped out with our guns, and he just froze."
Cetin was unarmed and was carrying a satchel with a computer in it.
"He was kind of zombie-like," Hawley said.
The suspect's arrest capped a frantic search following the slayings of five
people the day before.
The first 911 call came in just before 7 p.m. on a busy Friday at the
Cascade Mall: A man with a rifle was shooting at people in the Macy's
By the time police arrived moments later, the carnage at the Macy's makeup
counter was complete. Four people were dead, and the shooter was gone, last
seen walking toward Interstate 5. The fifth victim, a man, died in the early
morning hours Saturday as police finished sweeping the 434,000-square-foot
"There are people waking up this morning, and their world has changed
forever. The city of Burlington has probably changed forever, but I don't think
our way of life needs to change," Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said Saturday
at a news conference.
Authorities said it now appears the rifle was brought into the mall from the
suspect's vehicle that was there, Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said
Cetin has not been charged, Cammock said. He will be booked into the Skagit
County Jail and is expected to appear in Skagit County District Court on Monday.
The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/2cWhxJY) that Skagit County court
records show three domestic-violence assault charges against Cetin. The victim
was identified as Cetin's stepfather.
The newspaper reports Cetin also was arrested for drunken driving.
Cetin was told by an Island County District Court judge on Dec. 29 that he
was not to possess a firearm, the newspaper reported.
However, the stepfather urged the judge not to impose a no-contact order,
saying his stepson was "going through a hard time."
Attempts to reach suspect's family and friends for comment by phone and
social media late Saturday night weren't immediately successful.
Initially the suspect in the mall shooting was described as Hispanic, but
Hawley said that was based on initial witness statements to the shooting at the
Surveillance video captured the suspect entering the mall unarmed and then
recorded him about 10 minutes later entering the Macy's with a "hunting type"
rifle in his hand, Cammock said.
The identities of the victims --- four women who ranged in age from a
teenager to a senior citizen --- were withheld pending autopsies and
notification of family. The identity of the man who was fatally shot was also
withheld and may not be released until Monday.
Earlier Saturday as police scrambled to find the shooter, the small city
about 60 miles (97 kilometers) north of Seattle waited and worried.
The community of 8,600 people is too far from Seattle to be a commuter town,
but its population swells to 55,000 during the day because of a popular outlet
mall and other stores and businesses. Burlington is the only major retail
center within 30 miles (48 kilometers) in a region where agriculture is king.
"It's too scary. It's too close to home," said Maria Elena Vasquez, who
attended a gathering in a city park Saturday with her husband and two young
Those who survived were still trying to process what happened as their
community became the latest entry on a list of places known by the rest of
world for mass shootings.
Joanne Burkholder, 19, of nearby Mount Vernon, was watching the movie "The
Magnificent Seven" in the mall's theater when security guards came in and told
them to evacuate immediately. Dozens of panicked moviegoers gathered in the
hallway, and Burkholder heard screaming as the officers escorted them to safety
in a parking lot.
As she drove home later, she had to pull over because she was shaking so
hard, she told The Associated Press.
"I'm just very thankful for my life this morning. I've never been so
terrified in my life," she said Saturday, trying to hold back tears as she
attended the community vigil.
People who believed they may have lost loved ones were being sequestered at
a church three blocks from the mall, where counselors and a golden retriever
therapy dog were present.
The Seattle Times reported that one of the victims in the deadly Washington
state mall shooting is a 16-year-old girl.
Sarai Lara's mother said she had survived cancer as a young girl and was a
Evangelina Lara told ( http://bit.ly/2cWhxJY ) the newspaper through a
translator that she was shopping Friday night at the Cascade Mall in
Burlington, Washington, with Sarai and her younger sister, but they split up.
Evangelina Lara says it was confirmed at 2 a.m. Saturday that her daughter
was among the five people killed.
Dozens of people attended a Saturday evening prayer service for the victims.
The gathering was held at Central United Methodist Church in nearby
The Rev. Cody Natland lit five candles on a table in front of the church,
one for each victim.