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March 30, 2018

Student who allegedly threatened to shoot up Delco school had 'unusual ideas' – report

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03302018_An_Tso_Sun_UDPD Source/Upper Darby Police Department

An Tso Sun, 18, an exchange student from Taiwan, is charged with making terroristic threats against his school, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School. He said it was a joke.

The 18-year-old student charged with threatening to shoot up a Delaware County high school liked guns and flamethrowers, and wanted to become a police officer, according to friends and acquaintances.

An Tso Sun, an exchange student from Taiwan who was arrested Tuesday, was "a child who really cares about things," a tutor told the Associated Press.

“He was an extremely simple and kind student, yet he would often have unusual ideas,” said Cheng Wei-ting, a tutor who home-schooled Sun in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

A friend of Sun's father, Tuo Zong-kang, told reporters Thursday that the teen wanted eventually to study criminal psychology at an American university.

According to Upper Darby police, Sun threatened to begin shooting on May 1 at his school, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School. He had ammunition, a military-style vest, ammunition clip pouches and a high-powered crossbow in the Lansdowne home where he was staying, authorities said.

Sun subsequently claimed the threat was only a joke, but was charged with making terroristic threats after his arrest.

Enrique Latoison, a Media defense attorney, said his client “had no intention or plans” to commit a school shooting and many items found were what he wore to school for a Halloween costume contest, the AP reported. He said his client said he was “Just kidding.”

Tuo's memories of Sun paint a different portrait of the teenager, the AP reported:

Tuo, his father’s friend, told reporters he remembers Sun as “a very polite kid who had good grades, very disciplined and very kindhearted.”

“He lives in a family full of warmth, and his parents are very kind to him,” Tuo said. Regarding his arrest, he said, “I think it is a very, very big misunderstanding.”

Sun, who remains in Delaware County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 11.

Read the Associated Press' full story.