Suspect in Washington state mall shooting found dead in jail cell
This undated Department of Licensing photo posted Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, by the Washington State Patrol on its Twitter page shows Arcan Cetin, 20, of Oak Harbor, Wash. Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis Saturday via Twitter identified Cetin as the suspect in a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., that left several dead and sparked an intensive, nearly 24-hour manhunt. Authorities say Cetin was apprehended Saturday evening.(Washington State Patrol via AP)
Law enforcement officers work outside of the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., where several people were fatally shot on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.(Dean Rutz / AP)
People are evacuated to a nearby church after a fatal mass shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., on Sept. 23, 2016.(Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
Rachel Marsh, 15, right, and Selena Orozco, 15, left, light candles as they attend a prayer service, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at the Central United Methodist Church in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. The service was held in reaction to Friday’s fatal shooting of several people at a Macy’s department store at the Cascade Mall in nearby Burlington, Wash. Both girls said they knew one of the victims of the shooting.(Ted S. Warren / AP)
Emergency personnel operate in front of an entrance to the Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, 2016, in Burlington, Wash.(Stephen Brashear / AP)
This security video still provided by Skagit County Department of Emergency Management shows a suspect wanted by the authorities for a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.(Skagit County Department of Emergency Management via AP)
A Burlington Police officer stands guard at a side entrance to the Macy’s department store at the Cascade Mall on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Wash.(Ted S. Warren / AP)
Nick Torset from Sedro-Woolley, Washington, prays during a vigil held at the Central United Methodist Church on Sept. 24, 2016, in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.(Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
A sign hangs on door near a community gathering at Maiben Park on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Washington.(Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
A crowd gathers around a makeshift memorial outside the Cascade Mall on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Washington.(Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
Ariel Pantoja, 19, left, and Makayla Bentley, 18, react to news on their cell phone that the gunman has been caught as they light candles with others at a makeshift memorial outside the Cascade Mall on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Washington.(Karen Ducey / Getty Images)
A man wearing a jacket and cap from the Homeland Security Investigations division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement walks across a parking lot at the Cascade Mall on Sept. 24, 2016, in Burlington, Wash.(Ted S. Warren / AP)
A man charged with killing five people at a mall in Washington state last year was found dead in his jail cell in an apparent suicide, authorities said Monday.
Arcan Cetin, 20, was discovered hanging Sunday evening, said Rosemary Kaholokula, chief criminal deputy prosecutor for Skagit County.
He was being held in neighboring Snohomish County, where he was awaiting the results of a mental competency evaluation.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail, did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press seeking details.
Investigators say Cetin shot a teenage girl, a man and three women in a department store at Cascade Mall in Burlington, 65 miles (105 km) north of Seattle, on Sept. 23. Authorities captured him about 30 hours later near his apartment and said he confessed during police interviews but did not explain why he did it.
The family of victim Chuck Eagan said they were shocked by the death in a statement to the Skagit Valley Herald.
“We pray that the man repented to God before his death,” the statement said. “While this event puts to rest our fear of his release, we harbor no ill will towards Mr. Cetin or his family and pray for their comfort as we know all too well the pain of grief.”
Cetin had been charged with aggravated murder, which can bring the death penalty but had not entered pleas pending mental evaluations. His attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The 20-year-old had a history of violent behavior toward his family and ex-girlfriend. Cetin’s stepfather, David Marshall, said the family had been trying to get Cetin help for mental health issues.
According to police reports, Cetin had told his ex that his father was connected to “bad people in Turkey.” Asked during interviews whether his Turkish relatives had ties to terrorist groups, Cetin said no. He also said he didn’t have any contact with those relatives.
He said he had watched beheadings by the Islamic State group online but such terrorist actions are wrong.
Asked if ISIS had inspired the mall killings, Cetin responded, “I can’t answer that,” police wrote.
The shootings were captured on surveillance video. The victims were Sarai Lara, 16, and Shayla Martin, 52, both of Mount Vernon; Eagan, 61, of Lake Stevens; Belinda Galde, 64, of Arlington; and Galde’s mother, Beatrice Dotson, 95, of Kingsport, Tennessee.
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