Teen With Handmade Gun and 1,600 Rounds of Ammo Pleads Guilty to Planning Mass Shooting at High School - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Teen With Handmade Gun and 1,600 Rounds of Ammo Pleads Guilty to Planning Mass Shooting at High School

On Monday, An-Tso Sun pleaded guilty to terrorstic threats with intent to terrorize another.

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    Federal Charges Filed Against Student Who Threatened to Shoot Up School

    Investigators filed federal charges against a foreign exchange student who was accused of threatening to shoot up his Delaware County school.

    (Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018)

    An 18-year-old Taiwanese exchange student has pleaded guilty to threatening to shoot up his Delaware County Catholic high school

    An-Tso Sun pleaded guilty on Monday to making terrorstic threats with intent to terrorize another. A possession of instrument of crime with intent charge was dismissed.

    Sun is also facing federal charges. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced that Sun is charged with possessing ammunition while being in the country on a non-immigrant visa, a felony and could result in him being permanently banned from the United States.

    In the local case, Sun was sentenced to 4 to 23 months in the George W. Hill Correctional Facility and will be paroled to the ICE detainer. He was also ordered to pay $700 in restitution. 

    Sun was arrested in March after police said he threatened to carry out a shooting on May 1 at Bonner and Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill.

    Police say he built his own 9 mm handgun using parts he bought online and purchased 1,600 rounds of ammunition for a variety of firearms. The weaponry was discovered packed inside a duffel bag.

    "When we add it all up, there is no doubt in our minds that he was planning something," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

    About 663 rounds of 9 mm ammo, 425 rounds of AK-47 ammo, 295 rounds of AR-15 ammo, 225 rounds of 12-gauge ammo, and the hand-assembled gun were recovered in the bag, Chitwood said.

    An Tso Sun, 18, is accused of threatening to shoot up Bonner & Prendergast Catholic High School.
    Photo credit: Upper Darby Police / Google Street View

    Sun's host mother in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania removed the armaments from the teen's bedroom after the school contacted her about the alleged threat, Chitwood said.

    The ammo and gun parts were bought over the internet since Sun arrived to the United States in August, Chitwood said. He went online on a school-issued iPad at least 20 times to search about guns or to buy ammo and gun parts.

    That internet research included visits to websites about AR-15 and AK-47 assault-style rifles — which have been used in a string of mass shootings — and Chitwood believes it shows Sun was attempting to purchase the weapons.

    During a search of Sun's bedroom, police recovered other items including a military-style ballistic vest, military-style web gear with pouches to hold ammo clips, a crossbow with scope and seven arrows, a loading dock for rifle clips, 9-mm ammunition and a strangling device, police said.

    During the course of the investigation, Chitwood said police found the duffel bag.

    Sun, who is in the U.S. on a student visa, legally obtained all of the weaponry, Chitwood said.

    Sun's family and and a former tutor said the teen long had an interest in weapons and protecting others from harm. He also once built a flamethrower.

    His now former attorney, Enrique Latoison, previously said the teen never intended to carry out a shooting. He said Sun lacked "the same social skills of what it is to grow up in the post-Columbine generation" in not understanding the magnitude of his comment to a classmate.