An 18-year-old foreign exchange student from Taiwan was arrested last Tuesday for threatening to shoot on school grounds.
The student, An Tso Sun, attended Bonner and Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Sun was only in the U.S. for five months, according to police.
Sun told a 17-year-old male classmate on Monday to be absent on May 1, because he planned to “shoot up” the school that day. The classmate then reported the statement to a school employee. The school notified the Upper Darby Police Department, and they arrested Sun after he spoke with a detective.
Sun told the police that the threat was not serious, and he told the classmate that he was “just joking.” A search of his possessions and his bedroom at his host’s home paint a different picture.
According to Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, during a search of Sun’s bedroom, police found items including a military-style ballistic vest, crossbow complete with scope and light, 20 rounds of 9mm ammunition, military ski mask and a garrote. Police also discovered boxes of ammo that were ready to be loaded into an AR-15 or AK-47 gun.
In a later search, police found a bag full of 12-gauge ammo, 9mm bullets, 295 rounds and clips of AR-15 ammunition, 425 rounds of AK-47 ammunition and a 9mm handgun made from parts that Sun presumably purchased online. The amount of bullets in the bag amounted to 1,600.
Chitwood added that the high school says Sun had no history of disciplinary issues.
An iPhone and computer were recovered, and his school-issued iPad had a history of searches for guns.
In this time of America’s youth standing up against gun violence and advocating for stricter gun laws, this discovery has many in the Bonner and Prendergast community shaken.
“I thought it was very shocking to hear something happen like this so close to home,” said Erinn Brown, a 2013 graduate of Bonner and Prendergast, and a 2017 West Chester University graduate. “I know students who still go to Bonner & Prendie and it was very scary to think about what would’ve happened if he did not get caught.”
The ordeal was even more of a scare for Naya DeVaughn, also a 2013 Bonner and Prendergast graduate. Her younger sister is a freshman at the high school.
“I found it devastating when I heard the news, not only because I used to walk those same halls but because my little sister is a freshman,” DeVaughn explained. “School is supposed to be a safe zone for kids, but now they are worrying about if they should even go to school out of fear of not returning home.”
The Department of Homeland Security is also investigating and working with the Upper Darby Police to uncover more information.
Sun was charged with a misdemeanor count of making terroristic threats and is being held at the Delaware County prison on $100,000 bail.