Taiwanese exchange student Sun An Tso (Sun Hua), the only child of Taiwanese actors Sun Peng and Di Ying, was arrested in America on March 27.
He was suspected of planning a school attack in his current school, Bonner & Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
The police sprang into action after receiving a tip-off about An Tso’s suspicious behaviour from his school principal, and searched his host family’s home after they believed the threat to be serious.
From his bedroom, they seized a ballistic vest, a military ski mask, rifle bullets, a crossbow and components that can be assembled to make a homemade gun. They then proceeded to arrest him on charges of planning a school threat.
According to the police, An Tso’s “inappropriate” behaviour started in February, when he brought a bullet to school and showed it off to a schoolmate.
He then continued showing his keen interest in buying and using guns when he used the school iPad to search up on them and asked his schoolmate to teach him how to buy one.
The police believed he was serious about his threats after he had warned another classmate to skip school on May 1 because he plans “to shoot up the school” that day.
Enrique Latoison, An Tso’s defense attorney, said that the 18-year-old had “no intentions or plans” to carry out the school shooting, and claimed that he was ignorant about the gravity of his jokes because he did not grow up in America, where school shootings are a serious and sensitive topic.
Citing An Tso’s upcoming enrolment into a US university, where he will be majoring criminal justice as evidence, Enrique explained that the teenager is simply an aspiring law enforcement officer with an interest in learning about how the military works.
The suspicious items found in his bedroom were also props he used when he attended a Halloween party in Taiwan.
In response to the charges, Taiwanese actress Di Ying maintains that her son was “joking” and does not own a gun. She also expressed that both the bullets and the gun components were legal under American law.
An Tso was imprisoned on US$100,000 (approximately S$131,250) bail yesterday (Mar 28) and his next court hearing will be on April 11.
Photos: PBE Media
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