Cascade Mall shooting suspect arrested in Oak Harbor
UPDATE: Authorities have reportedly changed their description of Arcan Cetin. KING 5 reports he is a naturalized citizen.
A suspect in the Cascade Mall shooting was taken into custody Saturday night. He has been identified as Arcan Cetin, 20, of Oak Harbor.
The Island County Sheriff’s Office apprehended the suspect in Oak Harbor at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley said he was notified by investigators of the Cascade Mall shooting that Cetin was a person of interest. He was putting together photos and information for his deputies when he got word that Cetin’s car was spotted about a half a mile from his office. He, along with another deputy drove that direction. Hawley then spotted Cetin walking on the side of the road.
“I instantly recognized that was the person I just viewed on my computer,” Hawley said. “I did a u-turn, hit my lights, pulled my gun.”
Hawley then took Cetin into custody. Cetin didn’t run or resist.
“He said nothing,” Hawley said. “He was kind of zombie-like. He did not have a weapon with him. He had a leather satchel with a computer in it.”
Oak Harbor authorities were notified about Cetin after investigators at the Cascade Mall had time to review video from multiple security cameras. Eventually, they were able to track the suspect on the video to a car at the mall. That car led them to Cetin, who was known to be living in Oak Harbor.
According to KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy, Cetin was known in his Oak Harbor neighborhood.
“Everybody we’ve talked with in this neighborhood is relieved. They were scared of this guy,” Clancy told KIRO 7.
“(Oak Harbor) is a small town,” Clancy said. “That is the nearest mall to Oak Harbor. That is where a lot of these people spend their time shopping.”
Very little is known about Cetin. His social media states that he moved to the United States from Adana, Turkey when he was young. Authorities said that he immigrated from Turkey and was a legal permanent resident of the United States.
He graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2015.
In 2015, Cetin was involved in a 4th degree assault in Oak Harbor. As a result, the court ordered him to go under a mental health evaluation which was completed in March 2016, according to KIRO 7. He was ordered not to use drugs or alcohol during this time. On Aug. 25, 2016, he was found in compliance with all court orders, including weekly mental health counseling.
#cascademallshooter is in custody. More details coming.
— WA State Patrol (@wastatepatrol) September 25, 2016
— FBI Seattle (@FBISeattle) September 25, 2016
Cascade Mall shooting
The exact timeline of events is unknown. Security cameras recorded Cetin allegedly walking into the Cascade Mall without a firearm. Ten minutes later, the suspect can be seen on camera with a rifle.
Five people died in the shooting at Cascade Mall in Burlington on Friday night. Four women were killed at Macy’s. The fifth victim — a man — later died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
“That is the shooter,” the Washington State Patrol said Friday night. The time stamp on the image shows the man in Macy’s at 6:52 p.m.
Police initially described the suspect as a Hispanic male between the ages of 20-25, with messy black hair, wearing a black shirt. Police later backtracked and rescinded that description. Authorities said it was based off of witness accounts.
Lt. Chris Cammock with the Mt. Vernon Police Department said that two people were shot at a location in Macy’s and three more were shot at the makeup counter. He said the suspect fired multiple rounds. Mt. Vernon police were among the many agencies called in to investigate the shooting.
The shooter left the area before police arrived on the scene. Officers and K-9 units searched neighborhoods near the mall while teams of officers combed the 40,000 square foot mall for more potential shooters, victims, and evidence. A rifle was recovered at the scene. Police did not provide details about its caliber or the exact number of rounds fired.
Police say it’s unclear if the shootings were targeted and did not speculate about a motive. Cammock did not say whether there was a tie between the suspect and victims.
Employees and customers hid in bathrooms and in store break rooms. Officers contacted people throughout the mall and escorted them out. People inside were eventually transported by bus to a nearby church where they were reunited with family and friends. They left their cars behind in the parking lot so investigators could search them for evidence.
Investigators said they received multiple tips on the whereabouts of potential suspects.
The FBI said Friday night it has “no information to suggest additional attacks are planned in Washington state.” There is no indication this was a terrorist attack, according to the FBI.
The Washington State Patrol originally reported three females were killed inside Macy’s with a fourth at a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Troopers later changed the death toll to four. A fifth victim — a male — was taken to Harborview Medical Center where he died early Saturday.
Cammock said the victim’s ages range from teenagers to seniors.
Skagit County Coroner Hayley Thompson said autopsies will be conducted before the victim’s identifications will be released.
Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said his community has suffered a devastating loss of five treasured members, but he has seen people come together.
“That was us in that mall last night,” Sexton said. “Any one of us last night. It changed those families forever.”
At a community meeting Saturday morning, the mayor, who vowed to “bring the son of a bitch to justice who did this to our community,” told residents he had a heartbreaking meeting with the woman whose husband died, according to the Skagit Valley Herald.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee thanked law enforcement on Saturday night for once again putting themselves on the line.
“We want to thank them both for their courage and their professionalism,” Inslee said.
He reassured the community that the entire state of Washington is united and stands with Burlington.
“Our hearts are in Burlington tonight.”