Mall shooting suspect charged with murder
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — The suspect accused of killing five people at a Macy’s department store confessed to police, court documents said, but his motive remained a mystery Monday as a portrait emerged of him as a mentally troubled young man whose parents said they were trying to help him.
Arcan Cetin, 20, appeared in court following his arrest over the weekend on five counts of firstdegree premeditated murder for the shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, north of Seattle.
Cetin appeared to express no emotion and said only “Yes, your honor” when asked by a judge if he understood his rights. Bail was set at $2 million, and his lawyer said nothing about his client in court and did not speak with reporters.
The hearing followed a terrifying weekend that began Friday night when police say Cetin stormed into the mall and killed five people, leaving Burlington residents panicked for nearly 24 hours until authorities arrested him.
Cetin after his arrest admitted to detectives he was the man captured on security video carrying a Ruger rifle inside the mall, “and he did bring the rifle into Macy’s and shot all five victims,” court documents released ahead of Monday’s hearing said. He shot all five in one minute and left the rifle with a 25round magazine on a cosmetics counter before fleeing, the documents said. Four died at the scene, and one died in the hospital.
Authorities have declined to reveal details about their investigation into the motive for the Arcan Cetin is escorted into Skagit County District Court in Mount Vernon, Wash., by sheriff’s deputies Monday. shooting, but Cetin’s stepfather, David Marshall, told reporters after the hearing his stepson “has mental health issues” without elaborating. “The only thing that we want to say at this time is that we both are totally devastated by what happened,” said Marshall, who attended the hearing with Cetin’s mother.
The court documents appeared to paint a picture of Cetin’s stepfather and mother trying to keep their son on track despite his suffering from an unspecified illness and criminal charges he faced for allegedly assaulting Marshall. Cetin came to the U.S. from Turkey and is a permanent legal resident, authorities have said.
Court records show more than a half-dozen criminal cases involving Cetin since 2013. He faced three charges of assaulting his stepfather, according to The Seattle Times. The newspaper said Cetin also was arrested on drunken driving charges. It gave no details on when the arrests took place or how the cases were resolved. In the assault case, Cetin was told by a judge in December that he was not to possess a gun, the newspaper reported. However, Marshall urged the judge not to impose a no-contact order, saying his stepson was “going through a hard time.”
Cetin eventually moved out of his parents’ home, and Marshall told detectives after the shooting that he and his wife had helped with his rent. Cetin said his father bought him a laptop, according to the court documents released Monday. His mother visited him regularly at his new apartment and last saw him Wednesday.
Despite their falling-out, Cetin ate with his stepfather on the day of the shooting before leaving around 4:30 p.m. to go to work, according to the documents. Less than three hours later, police said in court documents, surveillance video showed Cetin enter the mall, walk through the shopping center and leave through a Macy’s exit. He moved his car closer to the Macy’s entrance and took a rifle out of the car’s trunk, the documents said.
Cetin was arrested late Saturday in Oak Harbor, about 30 miles from the mall. Marshall told detectives that his rifle and .22caliber ammunition were missing, documents said.