Police arrested the man they say walked into a shopping mall Friday night with a hunting rifle and killed five people in Burlington, Washington, about an hour north of Seattle. 20-year-old Arcan Cetin was quietly taken into custody at approximately 6:30 Saturday night, just blocks from the apartment complex where he lived. He was nabbed by a sharp-eyed police officer that saw him walking on the street, moments after receiving an A.P.B. on the suspect in his squad car. He was unarmed, carrying only a computer in a satchel, and seemed “zombie-like,” according to Island County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Hawley, who made the arrest.
It was Cetin, police say, who walked into a Macy’s department store less than 24 hours earlier and went on a shooting rampage in the cosmetics department, killing five before fleeing the scene. Cetin was caught on surveillance cameras entering the shopping mall unarmed, and then seen entering the Macy’s 10 minutes later with a rifle. Police were initially unaware that the shooter had left the sprawling shopping center, so the search for the gunman took hours.
Arcan Cetin immigrated to the United States from Adana, Turkey in his youth and is a legal permanent resident. Classmates from Oak Harbor High School, where he graduated in 2015, described him as socially awkward, with a reputation for vulgarity and making unwanted advances on women. He had been arrested three times on domestic-violence assault charges for attacking his stepfather, and had been told by a judge in December of last year not to possess a firearm. However, his stepfather refused a no contact order, saying Arcan was going through a hard time, and needed help.
Police at this point have not said what they believe was Cetin’s motive for the shooting. The Seattle office of the F.B.I. said there is no evidence currently to suggest this was an act of terrorism. Reports that the shoother’s ex-girlfriend had previously worked at the Macy’s where the attack happened are as yet unconfirmed. Arcan Cetin has not yet been charged though it is expected he will face five counts of first degree murder.
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