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.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. bill says:

    why is this being sent to the minors now? can’t we just pretend it was a white, t-party guy who hated women or something?!

  2. Mister Bluster says:

    @bill the pill: can’t we just pretend…blah…blah…blah…

    we??? must be you and that dead lizard in your pocket.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @bill:

    He was evidently a woman-hating gun nut, so a Trump voter. One of your people.

  4. Gustopher says:

    He was arrested for assault (domestic violence call, I’ve seen a variety of different reports about the details), and had completed court order mental health counseling. That’s probably going to be a key part of any motive that is discovered.

    There were probably plenty of warning signs, but nothing strong enough to separate him from society.

    He also apparently stole his father’s gun (or guns?). His father was apparently a “good guy who leaves guns lying around”.

  5. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds: yeah, a Turk with woman issues….must have left his “make America great again ” cap at home!
    @Mister Bluster: oh, you mad bro?! Get used to it.

  6. Gustopher says:

    So, if the reports are true, and this young man was under court ordered counseling because of assault charges, and he stole his father’s gun, how much liability does the father have? Does it rise to the level of criminal negligence? Or, merely civil damages?

    I support responsible gun ownership, and part of that is holding gun owners responsible.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    yeah, a Turk with woman issues….must have left his “make America great again ” cap at home!

    Well, if we want to play that game, we can look at how many conservative Christians have much in common with many conservative Muslims

  8. Gustopher says:

    @An Interested Party: Reports are that he is a Turk with woman issues, celebrates Christmas, likes the military, loves guns, and posts pictures of confederate flags, and makes negative remarks about Democrats, gays, etc… He also posts pictures of Iranian leaders, leaders of ISIS, serial killers, etc.

    I don’t think he is going to fit nicely into the right’s “Muslim Terrorist” frame, but it would be wrong to draw conclusions until more facts are known and verified, otherwise we will jump to the wrong conclusions.

    Also, he has a MySpace page, so he must be at least 35 because no one else knows MySpace even exists…

  9. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @An Interested Party: Interesting comparison. One element, however, is overlooked: how many of each group is willing to use violence to achieve those goals, and how many people have been killed in, say, the last century by those so motivated?

  10. Bill says:

    @An Interested Party: well, conservative Christians aren’t much of a problem here- and they’d be flaming liberals in the islamic world. Plus, they aren’t much as far a crime goes, nice (albeit lame) try.

  11. Mr. Bluster says:

    how many of each group is willing to use violence to achieve those goals, and how many people have been killed in, say, the last century by those so motivated?

    You mean in the last 100 years ending yesterday (Sep. 26,1916-Sep. 25, 2016) or the 20th Century (Jan. 1, 1901-Dec. 31, 2000)?
    I would have to say that one or more of any group willing to use violence to achieve their religious goals is too many.
    What the hell difference does it make.
    Either way we can start counting with the murder of the three Civil Rights workers killed in Mississippi in 1964 by the terrorist KKK.
    The same White Power goons that support Donald Trump today.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    well, conservative Christians aren’t much of a problem here…

    Unless, of course, you’re an abortion doctor or an ethnic/religious minority or gay…

    Plus, they aren’t much as far a crime goes, nice (albeit lame) try.

    Oh really

  13. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @An Interested Party: Yes, really.

    That article you linked to? Bullshit.

    The headline: “10 worst examples of Christian or far-right terrorism”

    #8 was the nut who flew his plane into an IRS building. His ideology was all over the map. From his suicide note, here’s this bit of right-wing propaganda:

    The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

    The total body count from “the 10 worst examples?” 185, of which 168 were from one incident. And the time frame covered is 1984 through 2012. That’s less than seven a year.

    The hack from alternet who came up with that article (your link is to Salon, but they give the article its true provenance) had to combine “Christian” and “far-right” so he could include Oklahoma City, carried out by an avowed atheist.

    And here’s real sloppiness: they refer to the attack on the Planned Parenthood office in Brookline, MA as a “bombing,” but that was a shooting — there was no bomb involved.

    Apparently you’re not “interested” in reading the sources you expect others to take at face value. Sorry, not everyone is a credulous as you are.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Nothing that you noticed takes anything away from the fact that conservative Christians commit crimes just like any other group…

  15. KM says:

    @Gustopher:

    He also apparently stole his father’s gun (or guns?). His father was apparently a “good guy who leaves guns lying around”.

    This might not technically be true. Seeing as how it’s his son, the father may very well have told him how to access the guns “to be safe”. After all, what good does it do in the safe if the people it’s supposed to protect can’t get to it in any emergency? The vast majority of family members will tell their loved ones where keys are, how to find the safe or the combo simply because they trust their loved one. Even after it becomes tragically obvious the kid’s no good, a parent will often keep giving support and not change the locks. Their blindness is often another’s death warrant.

    I agree the father should be held liable since it’s his weapon. It’s far too easy to say “it was stolen” and wash your hands of any blood. Despite the fact that it was stolen, it’s your property that you purchased with the knowledge it can be used to deadly intent. People will be a LOT more careful if there was an automatic mandatory month in jail for all “unauthorized/insecure access leading to criminal possession” charge.

  16. barbintheboonies says:

    We have enough nuts of our own we don`t need to bring anymore in.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    The total body count from “the 10 worst examples?” 185, of which 168 were from one incident. And the time frame covered is 1984 through 2012. That’s less than seven a year.

    185 of which 168 were from one incident…less than seven a year.
    So you are good with that.
    Somehow I am not surprised.

  18. barbintheboonies says:

    We have another mall shooting in Huston this time. Too many crazy SOBs.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @barbintheboonies:..Too many crazy SOBs.

    Houston Strip Mall Shooting Leaves 9 Injured, Suspect Dead
    Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo said the suspect lived in the neighborhood and was a lawyer who was having “issues with his law firm.”
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/active-shooter-situation-sends-cops-houston-strip-mall-n654281

  20. Bill says:

    @An Interested Party: if conservative Christians were a crime threat, you’d know by now. Don’t forget that blacks make up the most religious voting bloc. Not that they’re the violent crowd, but still. Hey, any news on this guys religious affiliation?’