The University of Central Florida Police Department announced the anticipated removal of Wenliang Sun, 26, after violating his non-immigrant status and displaying disturbing behavior to friends, roommates, and university staff.

UCF staff notified campus police on February 1 after witnessing a dramatic change in Sun’s appearance and behavior, including a $70,000 cash purchase for a new car.

On February 7, Sun purchased a .308 Ruger Precision caliber rifle with a bipod and high-value optics, adding to an already owned LWRC 300 Blackout rifle with ammunition kept in a public storage facility due to firearms not being allowed in his off-campus apartment, according to law enforcement. 

Sun refused to hand over the LWRC 300 Blackout Rifle to police for safekeeping, purchasing the .308 Ruger five days after UCFPD made contact with the student on February 2.

Both guns were purchased legally because federal law allows for those holding nonimmigrant visas to possess a firearm if they hold a hunting license, which Sun possessed, UCF said.

“The ‘See Something, Say Something’ message worked on every level,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary. “People noticed a distressing change in this young man, and they alerted UCFPD. Our detectives investigated and elevated their concerns to our federal partners, who took swift and appropriate action. Safety is truly a team effort, and it is through vigilance and partnership that we create a more secure community for each other.”

Sun enrolled as a nonimmigrant F-1 international student in an academic and cultural program at UCF that prepares international students for success at an American university, according to UCF.

“Sun’s nonimmigrant status was terminated after he purchased the second firearm for noncompliance with regulations unrelated to the firearms purchase,” the university said in a press release. “As an F-1 international student, he was required to attend classes, which he did not.”

“Ownership of both firearms became illegal once Sun no longer had legal nonimmigrant status in the U.S., and he was taken into custody Feb. 7 by HSI and ATF for violations of the terms of his admission to the U.S. and potential violation of federal firearms laws.”

On March 21, an immigration judge ordered Sun be sent back to China after failing to comply with the terms of his non-immigrant status and will not be allowed back into the United States for at least 10 years.

“Law enforcement and the concerned community in this case, showed that the campaign for ‘See Something, Say Something’ is much more than just words,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Daryl McCrary. “With partnerships between the community and law enforcement, sharing a common concern for the communities we live in, we can reduce violent crime, mitigate dangerous situations, and save lives.”

“This is a case where successful communication at every level of law enforcement may have prevented another school tragedy,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.