Suspect Arrested In Seattle Area Mall Shooting
Late last night, police announced that they had taken the suspect in Friday night’s shooting spree at a Seattle area mall into custody, but many questions remain unanswered:
A 20-year-old man was taken into custody on Saturday night in connection with a shooting that killed five people on Friday at a mall north of Seattle, the authorities said.
The authorities, speaking at a news conference on Saturday night, identified the suspect as Arcan Cetin of Oak Harbor, Wash. He was taken into custody without incident around 6:30 p.m.
Officials said that they had received numerous tips about the gunman and that surveillance footage had helped locate him.
Lt. Michael Hawley of the Island County Sheriff’s Office said he had received a report that Mr. Cetin’s car was less than a mile from his office and when he headed that way, he found Mr. Cetin walking on the sidewalk. Mr. Cetin was carrying a satchel with a computer inside and was in a “zombielike” state when he was taken into custody, the lieutenant said.
Charges were pending, said the authorities, who said it was too early to say what led to the shootings.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Cetin listed his hometown as Adana, Turkey. Officials said he was a legal permanent resident of the United States. He graduated last year from Oak Harbor High School and listed himself on Facebook as a bagger at the Whidbey Island Commissary.
Little of his personality could be gleaned from his sparse social media presence, which included only 56 posts on Twitter.
His Facebook page offered a glimpse of his life. A posting by a friend in 2011 described him as “really annoying,” “funny” and “sometimes really nasty.” Mr. Cetin referred to lifting weights in high school and posted videos of the video game Call of Duty.
Another Facebook posting, by a friend in 2012, said of Mr. Cetin: “Truth is: You are a very odd character. You were always going on about being Russian and stuff like that, but under that you really supported America (or so it seemed to me) and I always thought that was really cool.”
Mr. Cetin was active in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, said the former classmate, Uhlaine Finnigan, 19, of Port Angeles, Wash.
She called Mr. Cetin “sexist” and said he would touch girls on their buttocks, “either slapping or grabbing them.”
“He did that to girls of all grades at the high school including my best friend and I, regardless of the blatant disgust from the girls and being told to stop,” she said in an interview by Facebook Messenger. She said he appeared to have few friends.
The attacker at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., killed four women in the cosmetics section of a Macy’s department store, the authorities said. A man was critically wounded in the shooting and was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died. The youngest female victim was a teenager, law enforcement officials said at a news conference on Saturday morning.
The gunman, who was armed with a rifle, left the scene before the police arrived. Officials said they recovered the weapon at the scene. They declined to give details about the weapon or to say how many rounds were fired. Photographs of Mr. Cetin on a Myspace account showed him holding a handgun and a rifle.
A spokesman for the F.B.I.’s Seattle field office said on Saturday that there was no evidence to suggest that the shooting was an act of terrorism.
At the news conference on Saturday night, Mayor Steve Sexton of Burlington said the shootings happened at a time and in a setting that were ordinary: a Friday night at a mall.
Referring to the shootings, he said: “They changed those families forever. It changed our city, I’m afraid to some extent, forever.”
The names of the victims had not yet been released by officials.
Hopefully we’ll learn more about motive and possible accomplices in the coming days. For now, though, this is looking less and less like an act of terrorism and more like the actions of a deranged man, perhaps one who had a particular problem with women.