Washington mall shooter found dead in jail cell

Arcan Cetin

Arcan Cetin was awaiting a mental evaluation at the time of his death. (Photo: Seattle Times)

A 20-year-old man accused of killing five people when he went on a shooting spree at a crowded mall in Burlington, Washington, last year was found dead in his jail cell Sunday evening from what appears to be a suicide

According to multiple reports, Arcan Cetin was found hanging in his cell around 7 p.m. He was unresponsive when he was found and efforts to revive him failed. Officials said it appears Cetin committed suicide, but a death investigation is being conducted.

Cetin, who was facing five counts of aggravated first-degree murder, was recently transferred to the Snohomish County Jail, where he was awaiting a mental competency evaluation.

Cetin is accused of entering the Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, 2016, and opening fire inside a Macy’s department store with a .22-caliber rifle. A teen girl, three women, and one man were killed. Cetin was captured following a more than day-long manhunt and while he confessed to the shooting, he did not offer a motive. Prosecutors believe he acted with “premeditated intent.”

Reactions were mixed as the news of Cetin’s death spread. “We pray that the man repented to God before his death. 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,” the family of Chuck Eagan, who was killed in the mall shooting, said in a statement, according to ABC News.

Amy Martin, whose aunt, Shayla Martin, was one of the victims, said she feels the family was “seriously robbed of justice.”

“I think that’s the coward’s way out,” Martin said of Cetin’s apparent decision to take his own life.

“On some level there is a level of disappointment,” added Skagit County prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula. “We would have liked for this case to have gone through the entire proceeding and to have justice after we were able to present our case.”