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Cascade Mall shooting charges delayed

Arcan Cetin is escorted into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County’s Sheriff’s Deputies on  Sept. 26. (Brandy Shreve / Associated Press)
Arcan Cetin is escorted into Skagit County District Court by Skagit County’s Sheriff’s Deputies on Sept. 26. (Brandy Shreve / Associated Press)
By Marilyn Napier Skagit Valley Herald (Mount Vernon, Wash.)

MOUNT VERNON – Cascade Mall shooting suspect Arcan Cetin will remain in the Skagit County Jail on a magistrate’s warrant that has been extended until Jan. 6.

Cetin, 20, of Oak Harbor, appeared Friday in Skagit County District Court and agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial. That allowed for the extension of the warrant for investigation of five counts of first-degree premeditated murder.

Prosecutors now have until January to file official charges against Cetin in the Sept. 23 shooting at a Macy’s store in Burlington that killed three women, one man and one teenage girl.

Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich said the warrant extension is unusual. Typically, formal charges must be filed within 30 days after such a warrant is issued.

“Both sides want an opportunity to finish the investigation,” Weyrich said following court Friday. “It takes pressure off.”

Weyrich said hundreds of people have been interviewed for the investigation, with most likely hundreds more remaining. He said there are thousands of pages in discovery for the case.

Wesley Richards of the Skagit County Public Defender’s Office represented Cetin in court Friday and is working with Skagit County Public Defender Keith Tyne on the case.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Richards said.

Weyrich said they would like to finish the investigation prior to Jan. 6.

Surveillance video from the mall shows a man entering the mall through the Chuck E Cheese’s entrance, then walking through the mall and exiting through Macy’s west entrance, according to the arrest warrant.

The man is then seen moving his vehicle closer to that entrance, removing a weapon from the vehicle and re-entering Macy’s.

The shooting took about one minute, the warrant states.

Detectives with the Skagit County Multiple Agency Response Team (SMART), which is handling the investigation, continue to work through evidence and follow up on leads, Sgt. Mark Frances with the State Patrol said earlier this month.

Cetin was arrested in Oak Harbor on Sept. 24, about 24 hours after the shooting.

Island County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Hawley was one of the first law enforcement officials to make contact with Cetin following the shooting.

Hawley said in a news conference he found Cetin walking northbound on the sidewalk in Oak Harbor. Cetin was unarmed and did not speak when approached by law enforcement before his arrest.

The victims of the shooting are Sarai Lara, 16, of Mount Vernon; Shayla Martin, 52, of Mount Vernon; Chuck Eagan, 61, of Lake Stevens, Belinda Galde, 64, of Arlington and her mother Beatrice Dotson, 95, of Kingsport, Tennessee.

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