China / Across America

Light shed on two US shootings

By Associated Press (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-28 10:55

A man charged with five counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the shooting deaths of five people at a Washington state mall shared an early dinner with his stepfather then told him he was headed to his job at a gym.

Instead, police say, Arcan Cetin headed to the Cascade Mall in Burlington, pulled a Ruger rifle from his trunk and opened fire in a Macy's department store, instantly killing three women and a teenage girl and critically wounding a man who died hours later.

Cetin, 20, of Oak Harbor has a criminal record dating back at least two years and was charged last year with assaulting his stepfather, who said his stepson suffered from mental illness.

Court records obtained by The Associated Press detail a series of criminal charges and attempts to rehabilitate Cetin, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder and depression.

A court first ordered Cetin into treatment after he attacked his mother two years ago. The documents say he was following a program designed to erase that assault charge when he made unwelcome sexual advances toward two girls in his math class in 2015 and then punched his stepfather soon afterward.

On Monday, Cetin expressed no emotion when asked by a judge if he understood his rights. Bail was set at $2 million.

In another shooting case, in Houston, a man who authorities say randomly shot at drivers, injuring nine before he was fatally shot by officers, seemingly did his best to not stand out, according to friends and neighbors.

Nathan DeSai, a lawyer whom police identified Tuesday as the gunman, was described as polite, quiet and someone who kept mostly to himself, though he also sang and played guitar for a rock cover band years ago. A friend who had worked with him as a prosecutor in Dallas said that a few years after 9/11, DeSai changed his first name from Niren so it would sound more American and he could blend in. According to records, DeSai was born in India and became a US citizen in 1989.

In the weeks before Monday's shooting at the entrance to the southwest Houston condo complex, the normally inconspicuous 46-year-old began to draw attention to himself.

He was accused of pointing an assault-style rifle at roofers working in the complex and sending an email to the complex's managers in which he said he would "intimidate his way" to ensuring water pressure problems at his unit were fixed.

Authorities have said DeSai was wearing military-style apparel with old Nazi emblems, had two weapons and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition.

"He seemed like a pretty normal guy to me. He wasn't like an angry person or vicious," said defense attorney Michael Lowe.

DeSai's father told KPRC-TV that his son had started his own law practice but it wasn't doing well.

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