ICE removes Taiwanese exchange student who threatened to shoot up school
PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers removed a citizen of Taiwan who was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of being an alien in possession of ammunition, following a Homeland Security Investigations Philadelphia, investigation with the assistance of the Upper Darby Police Department and the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
An Tso Sun, 18, also known as “Edward Sun,” a Taiwanese exchange student, came to the United States in Aug. 26, 2017, on an F-1 visa to be a student at a high school in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. While attending school, he resided with a host family in Upper Darby. Beginning in October 2017, Sun visited a Philadelphia shooting range on multiple occasions, where he fired a variety of firearms, including semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Over the next few months, Sun purchased hundreds of rounds of ammunition from online vendors and directed that they be shipped to his host family address. In January 2018, Sun purchased pistol components from multiple online vendors and assembled them to create a functioning homemade pistol.
On March 26, 2018, after the school bell rang at the end of the day, Sun made the following statement to a fellow student: “Hey, don’t come to school on May 1st. . . . I’m going to come here armed and shoot up the school. Just kidding.” That student reported the incident to school officials, who then alerted law enforcement officials. Upper Darby Police officers executed a search warrant at Sun’s residence and seized from Sun’s bedroom 20 rounds of 9mm Blazer Brass ammunition; a ballistic suit, including a vest, jacket and pants; a crossbow; seven arrows; and various firearm accessories and shooting equipment. Sun’s host-mother, “V.H.,” was later interviewed and explained that, prior to the search, she had removed a number of items from Sun’s bedroom, including bullets and firearm-related items, and had given the items to an attorney. Law enforcement took possession of those items, which included, among other things, a homemade semiautomatic pistol, two AK-style 30-round magazines with ammunition, two AR-15-style 30-round magazines with ammunition, and numerous additional boxes of ammunition, totaling over 1,600 rounds.
On Nov. 19, 2018, a United States District for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania sentenced Sun to time served (approximately five and a half months) and required him to forfeit the ammunition in his possession. Additionally, the Judge ordered that Sun be transferred to the custody of ICE ERO and removed from the United States. Under federal law, Sun’s conviction will operate as a permanent bar to re-entry to the United States.
On Nov. 21, 2018, ERO Philadelphia arrested Sun upon his release from the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center and placed him in ICE Custody at the York County Prison, in York, Pennsylvania pending removal.
ERO officers removed Sun from the United States and turned him over to Taiwanese authorities without incident.