Po­lice: Mall shoot­ing sus­pect con­fessed, shot 5 in 1 minute

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Martha Bellisle and Gillian Flac­cus

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 was de­scribed as so­cially awk­ward, and one of his neigh­bors said he un­nerved her so much that she kept a stun gun near her front door.

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 vic­tims in one minute and left the ri­fle with a 25-round mag­a­zine on a cos­met­ics counter be­fore flee­ing, the doc­u­ments said. Four died at the scene and one died in the hos­pi­tal.

The vic­tims ranged in age from a teenage girl to a woman in her 90s.

Author­i­ties have de­clined to re­veal de­tails about their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mo­tive for the shoot­ing, but Cetin’s step­fa­ther David Mar­shall told re­porters af­ter the hear­ing that 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 Ar­can Cetin is es­corted into Sk­agit County Dis­trict Court by Sk­agit County’s Sher­iff’s Deputies on Mon­day. 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 may have been re­solved.

In the as­sault case, Cetin was told by a judge last De­cem­ber that he was not to pos­sess a gun, 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.”

He even­tu­ally moved out of his par­ents’ home and the step­fa­ther told de­tec­tives af­ter the shoot­ing that he and his wife had helped Cetin 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, the doc­u­ments said.

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 through a fast food restau­rant, walk through the shop­ping cen­ter and leave through the Macy’s women’s de­part­ment exit.

He then moved his car closer to the Macy’s en­trance and took a ri­fle out of the car’s trunk, the doc­u­ments said.

Within mo­ments, sur­veil­lance cam­eras in Macy’s cap­tured the shooter en­ter­ing through the same women’s de­part­ment — this time with a ri­fle.

Cetin first shot and killed a teenage girl near some cloth­ing racks and then walked to the cos­met­ics counter where he shot a man and three women, the doc­u­ments said.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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