A 20-year-old Turkish immigrant was arrested without incident yesterday evening, one day after he walked into Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, and murdered five people, seemingly at random.
Authorities say the suspect in the deadly Washington mall shooting had a previous arrest for simple assault and had immigrated from Turkey.
At a news conference Saturday night, Lt. Chris Cammock of the Mount Vernon Police Department said 20-year-old A___ C___* was a “legal, permanent resident of the United States.”
C___ was apprehended in Oak Harbor, Washington, about 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Island County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hawley said at the news conference that C___ had been arrested for simple assault last year. No other details were provided.
Initially the suspect was described as Hispanic, but Hawley said that was based on initial witness statements to the Friday night shooting at a mall in Burlington, Washington. Five people were slain.
C___is expected to appear in court on Monday.
There is no known motive for the murders, nor are there any obvious connections between the suspected murderer and the victims.
The suspect did not appear to have a weapon when he entered the mall, but had a small “hunting-type” rifle when he walked into Macy’s and shot the victims near the store’s make-up counter.
Unlike most mass killers, he then left the scene after shooting his victims, ditched the rifle, and simply walked away.
Because the suspected shooter, like the Orlando nightclub shooter, is a immigrant from a predominantly Muslim country, there is an immediate rush to label this a terrorist attack.
As a general rule of thumb, however, Muslim terrorists don’t have a track record of stopping on their own and then leaving the scene of a random mass murder attack. Their goal is typically to murder and terrorize as many people as possible before being martyred in a battle with authorities.
Nor is there any evidence that the murderer is practicing Muslim. I know several people from predominately Muslim countries who left because they aren’t Muslims and don’t like Islam. One of them is a deer-hunting, beer-drinking Iranian redneck. He’s not any more likely to go on a killing spree than you or I.
There’s still far too much we don’t know about this story to jump to conclusions.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass or spree killers.