Gun shop owner helps derail possible Syracuse shooting threat -

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Friday, 6 April 2018

Gun shop owner helps derail possible Syracuse shooting threat

The sun sets behind the Syracuse University campus at dusk.(HEATHER AINSWORTH/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A disturbed Syracuse University student who tried to buy an AR-15 rifle was deported to China after his possible plan to "do something extreme" was foiled by a gun shop owner and friends.
Xiaoteng Zhan told a pal that "I might use the gun to cause trouble. I have been preparing," said Syracuse Deputy Police Chief Derek McGork on Thursday, according to
While the 22-year-old Zhan was able to acquire ammunition and other items, he was unable to obtain a gun, cops said.
A gun store in Madison County had refused to sell Zhan any firearms on March 12 and "immediately notified police" that Zhan was acting suspiciously, local authorities said in a press release. Zhan wanted to buy an AR-15 and asked about high-capacity shotguns, according to
Cops determined that Zhan was a resident of Syracuse and a student at the university. Investigators found he had "mental health issues," and learned that he was in Mexico on spring break.
Zhan was taken into custody on March 19 when he returned to the U.S., and he was soon deported to China.
Due to his mental state, Zhan was on a list that prevented stores from selling him guns, according to He was also rebuffed at Dick's Sporting Goods, according to the news website.
Two scopes for rifles, used targets from a gun range and ammunition were recovered at his home. Zhan had told someone that the "dark side" had pushed him to buy a gun, bulletproof vest and other materials, according to No weapons were found at his home.
"The reason I want to buy guns is not to go hunting ... I might do something extreme in the future," Zhan told a friend, according to
An official with the Syracuse Police Department told the Daily News on Friday in an email that there were not "any known plans for a shooting."
"It was more of a male with questionable mental health status trying to purchase a weapon that he should not have," Sgt. Richard Helterline wrote.
The university said in a statement that when it learned about Zhan's activities, "he was already out of the country and the Syracuse University community was not in danger."
"As a result of the quick action and tremendous collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the student never returned to Syracuse, NY," the statement read.

- ny news 

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