ELIZABETH, NJ — A Union County grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against a Delaware man found to be in possession of a gun, folding knife and 130 rounds of ammunition outside of an elementary school in Westfield, authorities said Wednesday.
Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, of Bear, Delaware, is charged with six weapons offenses, ranging in degree from second to fourth, including third-degree possession of a firearm in or upon the grounds of an educational institution, and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said in a statement.
At 3:55 p.m. on June 13, Westfield police officers and detectives responded to Tamaques Elementary School on a report from the New Castle County Police Department in Delaware that a man later identified as Wilkie was on his way to the school and potentially armed, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Theresa Hilton, who is prosecuting the case.
Authorities placed the school on lockdown as a precautionary measure to identify any other potential threats, authorities said. Officers found Wilkie in the front seat of his 2019 Mitsubishi SUV, parked in the school’s parking lot, holding a .45-caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets, authorities said.
Police recovered two additional loaded clips of ammunition and a folding knife from Wilkie’s person, while 130 additional rounds of ammunition were located in the vehicle’s trunk, authorities said.
The school’s principal saw Wilkie inside the school asking for the teacher who he claimed to be in a romantic relationship with, according to documents filed in the case. Wilkie had called the teacher from a telephone inside of the school and said he wished to come stay at her residence, police say in a report filed with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.
Wilkie remains lodged at the Union County Jail, where he has been ordered to remain pending the adjudication of his case.
At a hearing in Superior Court in Elizabeth earlier this month, Hilton briefly outlined prosecutors' case against Wilkie.
“There are numerous police officers who could testify to what they observed as they approached the defendant’s car,” Hilton then said. “There are the weapons and the ammunition that they could present at trial, as well as the operability of these.”
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