Mother of Taiwanese student arrested in US says her son's shooting threat was 'just a joke'

She will fly to US Friday to meet with her son

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An Tso Sun and Di Ying (image from Di Ying's Facebook page).

An Tso Sun and Di Ying (image from Di Ying's Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The mother of the 18-year old Taiwanese named An Tso Sun (孫安佐) arrested in the United States for making alleged threats about shooting his school up, said those threats were "just a joke" on Thursday as reported by the Central News Agency.

The mother, Di Ying (狄鶯), who is a famous TV and Taiwanese Opera actress, told local news channel SET News that the boy had just made those threats as a joke to his friends and the prop gun that the US police had found in her son's room were in fact bought in Taiwan and taken to US by Sun to use for a Halloween outfit.

She also emphasized that the threat made by her son was either a joke or just a language misunderstanding and has confirmed with the news channel that she has hired a lawyer for her son in the United States.

Sun is the only son of actor Sun Peng (孫鵬) and Di and is in the US as an exchange student currently enrolled in his second year of high school at Bonner and Prendergast Catholic High School in Pennsylvania and lives with a host family in a suburban area in Pennsylvania.

After his arrest, the police found many suspicious items in his bedroom such as a ballistic vest, a crossbow with scope and light, 20 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, a military ski mask, an ammunition clip loader and a garrote, which is used to strangulate a person.

The police also reportedly found that Sun had used his school's iPad to search online "how to buy AK-47 assault rifle or an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle."

"He told a fellow student, 'Don't come to school on May 1 because I'm going to shoot up the school,' and then he said, 'I'm kidding,'" said police superintendent Michael Chitwood as reported by cbsnews.

Soon the student reported sun's comments to his teacher who then informed the authorities and Sun was arrested on Tuesday.

Di also told the local media Apple Daily that Sun had always been interested in building a law enforcement career and had already enrolled in a US university to study criminal justice, starting from August this year.

She was also quoted by the news channel that she and her husband had not been able to reach her son and would be flying to the US on Friday, as mentioned by CNA.