Authorities have arrested an 18-year-old foreign exchange student from Taiwan after reportedly threatening to shoot up his classmates at a local high school in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
An Tso Sun, who is in the United States on a five-year student visa, was allegedly building an arsenal for his alleged planned attack against Bonner Prendergast Catholic High School.
Police were alerted after he reportedly told a friend not to come to school on May 1 because he was going to shoot up the school before saying he was just kidding.
Sun was subjected to a mental health evaluation after he was apprehended by local police on Tuesday and is now being held at Delaware County Prison on $100,000 bail, facing a first-degree misdemeanor terroristic threat charge.
Police are currently determining if Sun was indeed planning an attack in light of recent discoveries after his arrest.
Sun allegedly brought in a high caliber bullet to school back in February and was found to have looked into the process of purchasing an AK-47 and AR-15 online via an iPad in the school.
He also featured himself in a video with a flamethrower while wearing a mask, according to the Washington Post.
Authorities reportedly found the following items inside the boy’s home: a military-style ballistic vest, a web gear backpack with pouches to hold ammo clips, a type of cold weather gear, a high-powered crossbow with scope and light and seven arrows, a loading dock — or “speed loader” — meant for use in AK-47s and AR-15s, a wooden box made for a homemade gun, 20 live rounds of 9 mm ammunition, a military ski mask, ear protectors and a garrote which Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood referred to as “a strangling device.”
Upon questioning, Sun claimed that the threat he made against the school was just a joke.
In a tweet, Upper Darby police wrote, “Kudos to the person who stepped forward and helped to avert a tragedy.”
Defense attorney Enrique Latoison told ABC News that his client “had no intention or plans” to commit a school shooting, noting that many of the items found were what he wore to school for a Halloween costume contest.
“I don’t believe what he said rises to the crime of terroristic threatening,” Latoison said. “He said, ‘Just kidding.’ I understand the heightened sensitivity, but he is not from here, he didn’t possess the same social skills of what it is to grow up in the post-Columbine generation. … You and I understand that it’s not a funny joke, but maybe he doesn’t understand that.”