(EFE) – The suspect in the fatal shooting of five people Friday night at a shopping mall in Burlington in Washington state has been identified as Turkish immigrant Arcan Cetin, state police said Sunday.
He is reported to be a 20-year-old resident of Oak Harbor, a neighborhood located some 40 km from the scene of the attack, and the location of his arrest, said Island County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hawley.
Cetin, a Turkish immigrant with permanent US residency, was arrested while walking along a road after Oak Harbor police located his vehicle.
Related Story: Citizens upset by descriptions of mall shooter as Hispanic
A controversy began brewing Friday night when Mount Vernon police described the suspect in the Cascade Mall shooting as a Hispanic male in his late teens to mid-20s with a close-shaved haircut.
By Saturday night, when police arrested Turkish immigrant Arcan Cetin in connection with the crime, it had reached a full boil on Twitter.
The police had received several phone calls reporting the suspect was in the area.
“He was kind of zombie-like,” said Hawley, adding that Cetin – who was unarmed – did not offer any resistance or say anything at the time of arrest.
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The lieutenant said the motives behind the attack are still unknown, adding that investigators have not ruled out the possibility of it being an act of terrorism.
Cetin, who had previously been arrested for a case of simple assault, is now being detained at the Skagit County prison, Hawley said.
As the suspect is a legal permanent resident of the US, state police will ask federal authorities to investigate as well, he added.
Authorities will provide information on the shooting victims – four women and a man – once the autopsies are concluded.
The women died in the mall, while the seriously wounded man died later in hospital.
Burlington, a municipal region with nearly 8,500 inhabitants, is located 105 km north of Seattle and 80 km south of the border with Canada.
The Burlington incident took place a week after an attack in a Minnesota state mall in which a 22-year-old Somalian man stabbed nine people. EFE
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