US: Washington State mall shooting

Key Details:

24/09/2016 from Turkey

-Police says gunman is at large after four people were shot dead and one critically wounded in a shopping mall rampage.

-A gunman opened fire in a crowded mall north of Seattle, killing four people and critically wounding another before fleeing.

-The attacker shot 5 – 4 females,1 male – people in Cascade Mall in Burlington, north of Seattle.

-The attacker was identified as Arcan Cetin (20 yrs old), who was born in Adana, Turkey.

-According to the news, he came to the US when he was a kid with his parents. It is stated that he was living in the US ‘legally and permanently.’ He is in custody now.

-The motivation for the attack is unknown.

-According to Washington Post’s coverage, his classmates described him ‘socially awkward.’ He used to touch female students inappropriately. His friend stated that he didn’t know how to connect with people and didn’t know how to handle it as such. So he wasn’t very popular.

-He shared Baghdadi’s photo via his Tumblr. He made a comment: ‘My main dude Abu Bakr al big daddy”.

-According to USA Today, he was involved in a number of cases and faced 3 assault charges related to domestic violence (The Seattle Times). According to the Washington Post, these charges  involved his step-father. He was receiving weekly counselling. Furthermore, court records refer to alcohol, substance abuse and mental health evaluations. Also, these include notes stating that he was in treatment as far back as 1.5 years.

-A judge told Cetin on Dec 29 that he could not possess a firearm, the Times reported. His stepfather convinced the judge not to include a no-contact order because Cetin was “going through a hard time.”
Cetin also has an arrest on a drunken driving charge, the Times reported.


So according to the video footage: he was wearing normal clothes indicating confidence with himself because seems like he didn’t try to cover himself or wear something different. It is a good choice to wear normal clothes because it is easier to blend in with crowds while running away and not being identified.

Firstly, when analysing his twitter account, he seems like a normal kid. Nothing unusual. However sharing the most popular terror organisation’s leader’s picture and commenting something funny under it do not seem normal. It also seems like the attack was not ISIS-inspired. He might have sympathetic views about Baghdadi but no other proof to support it is ISIS-inspired. In previous incidents, most attackers pledged allegiance or did more specific things such as shouting Allahu Akbar before attacking individuals.

Secondly, in previous attacks there was no sign of domestic violence happening in the attackers’ family but arguably this case resulted from domestic violence problems triggering this attack. So the details lead to this attack as being mental disorder related.

The most recent incident which has similarities is Ali Sonboly’s case, the Munich shootings. He was an Iranian-German who was born and raised in Germany. His neighbours described him as ‘polite’.

Ali (18 yrs) killed 9 people(aged 13 to 45 yrs) then was subsequently shot by police. He shot people by an unlicensed Glock 9mm pistol. He was identified as a ‘psychologically disturbed’, ‘typical teen’. According to the news, he didn’t have many friends and was bullied in school.

Police discovered extremist material linked  to mass shootings. Also, they found materials about Anders Breivik attack (2011), who murdered 77 people in Norway and was a white supremacist; Breivik had domestic problems and receiving treatment.

The motive behind the Washington State mall shooting is not clear but there are some common points with previous attacks. Mostly the attackers have mental disorders and they choose crowded places to attack people. Most of the attackers chose a knife/machete or rifle/firearm.
Some of them were identified as good or silent but the rest of them were identified as socially awkward or outsiders. Most of them were born in different country or immigrated to their current location – or their parents belong to different descent but live in current location.