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Accused Burlington Mall Shooter Found Dead In Jail

Washington State Patrol via AP, File
FILE - This undated Department of Licensing file photo posted Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, by the Washington State Patrol on its Twitter page shows Arcan Cetin, of Oak Harbor, Wash.

The man accused in September's mass shooting in a Burlington mall died in jail Sunday evening of what appears to be suicide, authorities said.

Arcan Cetin, 20, was found hanging in his Snohomish County jail cell shortly before 7 p.m.

Cetin was accused of killing five people with a hunting-style rifle in a Macy's store in the Cascade Mall on Sept. 23. Police captured him near his Oak Harbor apartment following a 24-hour manhunt. 

At the time of his death, he was awaiting an evaluation to see if he was mentally competent to stand trial, said Skagit County prosecuting attorney Rosemary Kaholokula.

Relatives of one of the victims, Chuck Eagan, said in a statement that their hearts go out to Cetin’s family.

"We pray that the man repented to God before his death," Eagan's family said. "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 other four victims were women, including a teenage girl and a woman in her 90s.

Although Cetin faced charges in Skagit County, he had recently been transferred to neighboring Snohomish County’s jail at the request of his defense attorney, prosecutors said.

Cetin’s defense attorney did not return a call seeking comment. Kaholokula said it's not unusual for the Snohomish County jail to house inmates from Skagit County.

Corrections officers performed CPR but could not revive Cetin, according to a spokesman for the Snohomish County sheriff's department. 

The sheriff's department said it is investigating Cetin’s death. It's up to the medical examiner's office to release the precise manner of his death, the sheriff's department said.

Will James is a former KNKX reporter and was part of the special projects team, reporting and producing podcasts such as Outsiders and The Walk Home.