Virginia Tech student arrested for illegal possession of assault rifle
Former freshman Yunsong Zhao found with firearm, attempted to purchase 5,000 rounds of ammo
On Monday, Virginia Tech police arrested freshman Yunson Zhao on a weapons charge after he attempted to purchase 5,000 rounds of ammo.
The 19-year-old Chinese citizen is in the U.S. on a visa and was a student at Virginia Tech for six months before his arrest, WSLS reports. According to the arrest warrant, Zhao has been charged with possessing or transporting an assault firearm, which is illegal under his visa status. The charge is classified as a class 6 felony.
Reports also state that Zhao had been researching bulletproof vests and owned a former police vehicle that still bore some official markings.
In addition to the assault rifle, the warrant says this Virginia Tech student attempted to buy 5,000 rounds of ammo, was researching bulletproof vests and owned a former police vehicle. https://t.co/iuVhI6yQBT
— WSLS 10 (@wsls) January 30, 2018
During his time as a student, Zhao studied Business and lived in Cochrane Hall. As of Tuesday, he is no longer affiliated with Virginia Tech, and the university released a statement reassuring the community that "right now, there is no threat."
This message was largely in response rumors of someone "stockpiling weapons" on campus. People were warned to "avoid large lecture classes." In the statement, Police Chief Kevin Foust denies a connection between the rumor and Zhao's case, although he speculates that the arrest may have sparked the rumor.
Zhao has no prior criminal record. He is currently being held at the Montgomery County Jail without bail and is set to appear in court on March 1.