Arcan Cetin, Washington mall shooter, to be charged Monday with first-degree murder



The 20-year-old man who shot and killed five people Friday at a Washington state Macy's makeup counter is facing five counts of first-degree murder at his first court appearance today.

Police arrested a "zombie-like" Arcan Cetin Saturday at 6:30 p.m., nearly 24 hours after he opened fire with a rifle at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, killing one man and four women before fleeing the scene. Authorities say after he initially walked into the mall unarmed, he went to his car and got his rifle, then walked into Macy's, started shooting and then left, leaving the rifle behind.

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Authorities said Cetin, a Turkish immigrant, is a legal permanent resident of Oak Harbor, where he graduated from high school in 2015. He has had several run-ins with police over the past few years, including three charges that he assaulted his stepfather in Burlington and Island County, according to The Seattle Times.

A judge told Cetin in December that he was not to own a firearm, but his stepfather asked the judge not to impose a no-contact order in hopes of helping his stepson, who was "going through a hard time."

Classmates said Cetin was isolated and aggressive in high school, getting in trouble for inappropriate behavior. A neighbor described him as "creepy, rude and obnoxious."

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Court records refer to alcohol and substance abuse and mental health evaluations. An August notation indicated Cetin was attending weekly counseling sessions.

"In high school he started harassing kids and not being a nice person, so I disassociated with him," former classmate Austin Hendrix, 19, told the Seattle Times. "He would grope women in high school and middle school."

Investigators are still searching for a motive, and it is unclear whether he knew any of the victims, which included a 16-year-old cancer survivor and a 95-year-old woman. The four women died on the scene, and the man died later at Haborview Medical Center in Seattle. Authorities plan to release official identification of all the victims on Tuesday after obtaining their medical records today.

Police received more than 250 tips from the public, and eventually found Cetin unarmed about 30 miles west of the crime scene near his apartment. Lt. Mike Hawley of the Island County Sheriff's Office recognized him from security footage when he saw Cetin walking down the street carrying a satchel with a computer inside, according to The Washington Post.

Hawley told CNN that Cetin froze, said nothing and complied with officers. He will appear at Skagit County District Court, about 60 miles north of Seattle, later today.

Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton urged potential witnesses to send in tips after the shooting so police could "get that son of a bitch who did this to our community," CNN reported. On Sunday, Sexton urged community members to try to move past the "devastating loss" of the five victims.