Thomas WIlkie Facebook Courtesy of New York Post.
A Delaware man armed with a handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets was busted Thursday outside an elementary school in New Jersey, authorities said Friday.
Thomas J. Wilkie was found in the front seat of his 2019 Mitsubishi SUV parked in the lot of Tamaques Elementary School in Westfield — after police acted on a tip from the New Castle County Police Department in Delaware that he was en route to the school and may be armed.
Wilkie, 46, who lives in Bear, was holding a .45-caliber handgun with hollow-point bullets and had two loaded clips of ammunition on him, as well as 130 additional rounds in his trunk, the Union County Prosecutor’s Offcie said.
He was nabbed by Westfield police at 3:55 p.m. after school had let out for the day.
Wilkie’s brother alerted authorities about the alleged gunman, NBC New York reported, citing a senior law enforcement official.
The official said Wilkie entered the school looking for a woman he had been involved with — but wasn’t armed at the time. When he learned she wasn’t there, he retreated back to his car and called the woman, who said she was tutoring but would return to the school.
While waiting in his car, Wilkie called his brother — prompting the concerned man to call Delaware State Police, according to the official.
The school, which had after-school programs in session, was placed on lockdown as Wilkie was taken into custody, the Westfield Police Department said.
The lockdown was lifted and children were reunited with their parents at around 5:30 p.m. after a sweep of the building and its perimeter were conducted.
“Police canines were brought in for a final, precautionary sweep, but there is currently no evidence to suggest any threat to the community,” Westfield police said Thursday.
Wilkie was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of hollow-point bullets and trespassing on school grounds and could face between five to 10 years in prison.
He is being held in the Union County Jail pending his first court date Wednesday.