Mall Shooting Suspect’s Classmates Claim He ‘Sexually Harassed’ Girls

Arcan Cetin is the suspect behind a mass shooting at a mall north of Seattle on Friday

Suspect in the Washington mall shooting, Arcan Cetin, of Oak Harbor. — REUTERS
Sep 25, 2016 at 6:40 AM ET

Authorities have apprehended a 20-year-old suspect in connection with the killing of five people at a Washington state mall on Friday.

Police arrested Arcan Cetin, a legalized permanent U.S. resident born in Turkey, after four women died, and one man was wounded, in a shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington at around 7:00 p.m. on Friday. While the suspect’s motivations are unknown, several women have claimed he mistreated or harassed them when they were classmates.

A gunman with a rifle shot dead four women, including a 16-year-old teenager, in the makeup department of a Macy’s, on Friday. A man injured in the shooting later died in hospital, The New York Times reported. The suspect fled the scene before authorities arrived, but police discovered a weapon.

Authorities said they arrested Cetin on Saturday evening. Lt. Michael Hawley from Island County sheriff’s office said he found the suspect walking on a sidewalk near his office. He said Cetin was acting “kind of zombie-like,” and was carrying a leather satchel with a computer inside, but no weapon, CNN reported.

Cetin was previously charged with three counts of domestic assault for attacking his stepfather, and was arrested for drunk driving, according to The Seattle Times.

Uhlaine Finnigan, who claimed she attended high school with Cetin, wrote on Facebook that the suspected gunman had made unwanted sexual advances toward her and her friends. “I fucking went to high school with this perverted piece of shit … He’d grab and slap my friends and I’s asses and even caressed my friends chest, along with other women. Has been known to be violent towards girls too. This was a target against women. Rot in hell.”

Vocativ has reached out to Finnigan and the other people who made allegations.

Finnigan said she had planned to visit Cascade Mall on Friday with her friends, but changed her plans.

The woman also posted a photo of what appeared to be Cetin’s Tinder account.

According to The New York Times, Cetin graduated from Oak Harbor High School last year. Several others commented on Finnigan’s post claiming they also attended school with Cetin, and that he targeted them, too. One user, Daya Lafaye, claimed he harassed her in the 4th grade, when students are typically aged 9 or 10. “Holy shit dude I met him in 4th grade. And even then he was sexually harassing my friends and I. What the fuck.”

Despite reports from the NY Times, one user, Zack Jones, claimed Cetin did not graduate from Oak Harbor High School because he sexually harassed a teacher.

Another Facebook user corroborated the other former classmates’ allegations. “Literally was saying last night that it looked like him… I’ve known him since elementary school as well… Been witness and victim to his sexual harassment since then as well… This is all so crazy and I’m so thankful my friends decided to skip out on the mall this night…” wrote Dakota Kinonen.

Some people who claimed they knew Cetin while at school described him more positively. “He wasn’t even a bad guy man,” wrote Korey Hernandez, whose profile states he also went to Oak Harbor High School. Another user, Reiley Allen, responded: “Forreal (sic) just a nerdy kid who kept to himself really it surprised me it was him.”