Taiwanese exchange student who threatened to 'shoot up' Delco school will be deported

Steve Tawa
November 19, 2018 - 2:24 pm
An-Tso Sun

Upper Darby Police Department


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A foreign exchange student from Taiwan has been sentenced and will be deported in connection with his school shooting threat in Delaware County earlier this spring. 

An-Tso Sun appeared before a judge at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, who gave the 18-year-old time served. Sun will be transferred to ICE custody for removal, never to return to the U.S. again — where he had hoped to participate in school and build a career.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wolfe sought more prison time, in the 24- to 30-month guideline range.

"You heard the judge say that he's young and immature, and he was oblivious, that he didn't appreciate the seriousness of the comments that he made," she said.

RELATED: Foreign exchange student from Taiwan pleads guilty to firearm charge

In March, Sun, known as Edward, told a classmate at Bonner and Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill "not come to school on May 1" because he "was going to shoot up the school."

That classmate reported Sun to authorities. He had been staying with a host family in Lansdowne, and when police searched his bedroom, they found 1,600 rounds of ammunition and a handgun.

Sun previously pleaded guilty in state court to making terroristic threats. A Delaware County judge sentenced Sun to 23 months in jail, but then ordered immediate parole, transferring him to federal authorities for deportation.

Defense Attorney Robert Keller
Steve Tawa/KYW Newsradio

Defense lawyer Robert Keller said the teenager, with limited life experiences, certainly used bad judgment in joking to a classmate.

"This event occurred right after another shooting at a school. He's paying a dear price, an appropriate price for it, and it was a lesson learned," he said.

Sun has been locked up for nearly six months, and it could take another four to six weeks to deport him. 

Keller noted that Sun has been accepted into a school back in Taiwan, and he'll pursue an arts education, following his famous parents, who are celebrities in Taiwan. 

His father, actor Sun Peng, and his mother, opera singer Di Ying, were in court. Keller said they'll remain in the U.S., visiting their son in detention, until he is deported.