SEATTLE — Detectives on Thursday were investigating a tip that the man accused of shooting and killing five people in a mall north of Seattle may have tried unsuccessfully to buy a handgun just hours before the slayings.
Arcan Cetin used a .22-caliber Ruger rifle when he opened fire at a department store cosmetic counter Friday at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, authorities say. Cetin’s stepfather told detectives after the shooting that his Ruger rifle and .22-caliber ammunition were missing.
Authorities were reviewing video to see whether the 20-year-old tried to buy a weapon from a gun store, said Sgt. Mark Francis, spokesman for the Skagit Multi-Agency Response Team.
Cetin, who has a criminal record dating back at least two years and was charged with assaulting his stepfather last year, was ordered by a court not to possess firearms.
After his arrest, Cetin acknowledged to detectives that 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 said.
He shot them all in one minute and left the rifle with a 25-round magazine on a cosmetics counter before fleeing, police said in the documents. The victims ranged from a 16-year-old girl to a woman in her 90s and included a probation officer and a Boeing maintenance worker.
Cetin was arrested late Saturday in Oak Harbor, about 30 miles from the mall, by a sheriff’s deputy who recognized him. He has been charged with five counts of premediated murder.
Authorities have not revealed any details about a motive, but Cetin’s stepfather, David Marshall, told reporters that his stepson “has mental health issues” for which they tried to get him help.
Cetin was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder and depression, court records show. He had been court-ordered into mental health treatment and involuntarily committed to a hospital.