The man accused of killing five people during the Sept. 23 shooting at Cascade Mall died Sunday evening while being held in the Snohomish County Jail.
Arcan Cetin, 20, died in an apparent suicide, Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich said Monday morning. Cetin appeared to have hanged himself.
Cetin was charged with five counts of murder for the shooting that left three women, a man and a teenage girl dead.
At the request of one of his lawyers, Cetin had been held in Snohomish County for about a month, Weyrich said.
The move to Snohomish County came about because Cetin was making statements to other inmates that were “against his best interests,” said Skagit County spokeswoman Bronlea Mishler.
Cetin was awaiting results of a second competency evaluation, a hearing for which had been scheduled for next week.
Instead, Weyrich said, the case will be dropped.
“From our perspective, (Cetin) did not let justice take its course,” Weyrich said. “Some (of the victims’ families) may have a great relief that it’s over; some may feel cheated.”
The victims were Sarai Lara, 16, of Mount Vernon; Shayla Martin, 52, of Mount Vernon; Chuck Eagan, 61, of Lake Stevens; Belinda Galde, 64, of Arlington; and Galde’s mother, Beatrice Dotson, 95, of Kingsport, Tennessee.
The family of Eagan released a statement Monday morning on the death of Cetin.
“We’re understandably in shock over this development. Our heart goes out to Mr. Cetin’s family. 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 wishes to extend our continued thanks to those who responded to this tragedy, especially law enforcement and the Skagit County Prosecutor’s office for their steadfast professionalism and compassion. We are also grateful to all of those in the community whose love has helped see us through the past six months as we grieve and remember Chuck. The family requests privacy as we continue to process this turn of events.”
Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said he hoped Cetin’s death would provide closure to the families and the community.
“I think it spares them from reliving the tragedy that they lived last year by going through the trial,” Sexton said. “The sad part for me is there’s another family grieving another loss of life today. That’s always sad.”