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

Arcan Cetin is escorted into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County's Sheriff's Deputies on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Cetin is being held under a magistrate's warrant which will give Skagit County prosecutors 30 days to file charges in relation to the Cascade Mall shooting that took place on Friday evening. Five people were killed in the shooting, and Cetin is being held on a $2 million bail. (Brandy Shreve/Skagit Valley Herald via AP)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — 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 first-degree 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.

This video image provided by Skagit County Department of Emergency Management shows a suspect wanted by the authorities regarding a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Authorities in Washington State say several people have been killed during a shooting at a mall north of Seattle and that at least one suspect remains at large. (Skagit County Department of Emergency Management via AP)

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.

This late Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, image from video by KIRO7 photographer Jeff Ritter shows suspected Cascade Mall shooter Arcan Cetin at Skagit County Jail in Mount Vernon, Wash., after his arrest in Oak Harbor, Wash., earlier in the evening. Investigators on Sunday tried to piece together information on the 20-year-old suspect in the deadly Washington state mall shootings who was apprehended after a nearly 24-hour manhunt. (Jeff Ritter/KIRO7.com via AP)

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 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 (http://bit.ly/2cWhxJY). 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.

Emergency personnel stand in front of an entrance to the Cascade Mall at the scene of a shooting where several people were killed Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, in Burlington, Wash. Police searched Saturday for a gunman who opened fire in the makeup department of a Macy’s store at the mall north of Seattle, killing several females, before fleeing toward an interstate on foot, authorities said. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Cetin was arrested late Saturday in Oak Harbor, about 30 miles from the mall, by a sheriff’s deputy who recognized him. Cetin’s stepfather told detectives that his Ruger rifle and .22-caliber ammunition were missing, documents said.

Police interviewed the suspect’s former girlfriend and said Sunday night she “has an employment history at Macy’s, but not at the Burlington Mall location.” They did not identify her.

Amber Cathey, 21, lived in an apartment next to Cetin for the past three months and said she was so frightened by him that she complained to apartment management and kept a stun gun handy. She said she blocked him on Snapchat after he sent her a photo of his crotch.

More details emerged Monday about the victims who police have said they will not identify until Tuesday.

The man who was killed, Chuck Eagen, was set to retire next year after working for 41 years from Boeing Co., his aunt Carol Thrush said in an interview.

Thrush described Eagan, 61, as kind and generous.

“He traveled with Boeing all over the world, doing repairs on airplanes,” said Thrush, 77.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s