Mall shooting suspect: 'Creepy,' multiple arrests, disputes

2016-09-26 20:51
An undated photo of Arcan Cetin. (Washington State Patrol via AP)

An undated photo of Arcan Cetin. (Washington State Patrol via AP)

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Oak Harbor — The 20-year-old Arcan Cetin suspected of killing five people with a rifle at a Macy's makeup counter was described by a neighbour as so "creepy, rude and obnoxious" that she kept a Taser by her front door. He also had a string of run-ins with the law in recent years, including charges he assaulted his stepfather.

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. Cathey said she blocked him on Snapchat after he sent her a photo of his crotch.

"He was really creepy, rude and obnoxious," Cathey said. She said she would try to avoid him by walking the long way around to her apartment if she saw his car in the parking lot. The two were in high school together and Cathey said he acted the same way then.

As investigators tried to piece together information on Arcan Cetin, who was arrested on Saturday evening after a nearly 24-hour manhunt, a picture emerged of a troubled young man. Court records show more than a half-dozen criminal cases in Island County alone since 2013.

Authorities said the gunman in the attack at the Cascade Mall in Burlington opened fire in the department store's cosmetics department on Friday night, killing a man and four females ranging from a teenager to a senior citizen. The killer then fled.

Cetin said nothing and appeared "zombie-like" when he was taken into custody on a sidewalk outside his apartment complex about 48km away in Oak Harbour by a sheriff's officer who recognised him as the suspect in the rampage, authorities said.

Cetin immigrated to the US from Turkey and is a legal permanent resident, officials said.

In Washington state, investigators searched Cetin's vehicle and the apartment complex on Sunday and were seen carrying boxes from a rear, upstairs unit. The four-unit building was surrounded with yellow police tape. Detectives would not say what they found.

Previous charges

The Seattle Times reported that court records show Cetin faced three charges of assaulting his stepfather. The newspaper said Cetin also was arrested on drunken driving charges.

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".

Police said that they interviewed the suspect's former girlfriend, who has worked a different Macy's. No other details were released, including her name.

Fondness for the military

Social media accounts apparently belonging to Cetin showed he had a fondness for the military and video games.

A Twitter account showed, among other things, selfies, photos of him in younger years and pictures of Turkish food. He once participated in paintball and said he "can't wait for Halo 5," the first-person shooter video game. He also tweeted: "Shout out to the ROTC peeps".

Cetin also appeared to have blogs on the site Tumblr that had not been updated in many months. They included seemingly random posts about serial killer Ted Bundy, a collection of selfies, the top-secret Area 51 Cold War test site and photos of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The two blogs linked back to each other and one of them linked to what appeared to be his Twitter page.

The names of the dead from the mall shooting were not immediately released by police. But The Seattle Times identified one as 16-year-old Sarai Lara. Her mother said she survived cancer as a young girl and was a happy student.

Authorities in suburban Seattle identified another victim as Belinda Galde, 64, a probation officer with the Snohomish County District Court.

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings

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