OAK HARBOR, Wash. – Neighbors and classmate give detailed description of suspect in Cascade Mall shooting, calling him troubled man but not a terrorist.
Arcan Cetin is being held on five counts of first degree murder, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance tomorrow. Rebecca White said her mother recognized the first photos of the suspected shooter released by law enforcement to be the 20-year-old.
“My mom was saying that she thought the picture looked like him, and I was like ‘no way,’” said White. She painted a detailed description of her former classmate. “He’s kind of a hardcore guy,” she said.
She said Cetin sent her younger sister flirtatious messages on Facebook. White said her younger sister brushed him off, and that’s when she said he went off.
“He sent her like a novel telling her off. And I was like, ‘this is a bad dude.’”
She said she could tell something wasn’t right with the former Oak Harbor High graduate.
“He just needed some help and he didn’t get it.”
Q13 News went to Cetin’s childhood home in Oak Harbor, a man neighbor’s identified as Cetin’s step-father told our crew to leave.
Neighbors across the street said the news had them shocked.
“My heart goes out to the families, his family as well,” said Ada Moseley. Moseley said her son played video games with Cetin, and she saw him as a quiet and polite young man.
Q13 News uncovered information that appears to show Arcan Cetin played video games immediately after the shooting. According to an account linked to the suspect on steamcommunity.com, Cetin logged more than 100 hours in the past two weeks playing the violent first-person shooter game, Call of Duty. It shows that his account was logged in early Saturday morning, while a manhunt for the suspect was underway.
“He’d go on Facebook and just like make the weirdest comments and go off on gun rights and stuff,” said White. “I think he was just an unstable guy.”
Our partners at Seattle Times report that Cetin does have a criminal record. He has three domestic violence assault charges against his step-father. They reported that it was clear from court records that Cetin was struggling with emotional or mental health issues and that criminal justice advocates were working to get him help.
“People are calling it domestic terrorism and stuff, I wouldn’t say he was a terrorist, I just think he had issues with women,” said White.
Investigators said they still do not have a motive for the shooting on Thursday at Cascade Mall. They are conducting interviews and said they interviewed an ex-girlfriend of Cetin that reportedly worked at Macy’s. They said in a press release on Sunday that the ex-girlfriend did not work at the Burlington Macy’s as previously reported by other media outlets.
“He was calm and collected last night,” said Sgt. Mark Francis with Washington State Patrol. They confirmed they have interviewed the suspect, but would not go into detail, or say if he was answering investigators’ questions.