Fake News: Mall Shooter Arcan Cetin WAS a U.S. citizen - Voted LEGALLY In 3 Elections

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: Mall Shooter Arcan Cetin WAS a U.S. citizen - Voted LEGALLY In 3 Elections

Was Burlington, Washington, mall shooter Arcan Cetin not a U.S. citizen and did he vote illegally in three elections? No, that's not true: Cetin, who killed five people in at the Cascade Mall on September 23, 2016, was a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was 20 when he died from suicide in jail six months after the mass shooting. Cetin was six when he immigrated to the United States from Turkey after his mother married an American citizen.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by WND.com on September 28, 2016 under the title "Mall shooter not a U.S. citizen - voted in 3 elections". It opened:

Add voter fraud to the list of Arcan Cetin's offenses.

Cetin, 20, is the Turkish immigrant arrested Saturday for the Friday night shooting and killing of five people in a Burlington, Washington mall. Security camera's show Cetin entering the mall briefly without a weapon, leaving and then returning with a rifle.

Cetin fled but was apprehended 24 hours later. He has reportedly confessed to the five murders.

Now, election officials and Washington Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, have confirmed that Cetin was illegally registered to vote and voted in three elections in the state in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

This is what social media users saw:

WND.com's story published in 2016 began trending on social media again in 2019 as it was shared on conservative Facebook pages with comments about voter fraud committed by illegal immigrants. While some media reported soon after Cetin's arrest that he was not a U.S. citizen, WND.com failed to update its story. KING-TV did post an update titled "Cascade Mall suspect is U.S. citizen":

KING 5 learned Thursday that Arcan Cetin, the 20-year-old who killed five people at Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, is in fact a U.S. citizen.

UPDATE: KING 5 learned Thursday that Arcan Cetin, the 20-year-old who killed five people at Cascade Mall on Sept. 23, is in fact a U.S. citizen.

For days after the shooting, Cetin was described by local and federal law enforcement as being a permanent U.S. resident. He immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey when he was a child, after his mother married an American citizen.

This is the video report from KING-TV:

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes wnd.com as:

A hyperpartisan conservative news and commentary site that regularly promotes conspiracy theories and publishes false information.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about wnd.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion