Man arrested at NJ school with loaded gun and 130+ rounds
WESTFIELD — Why did a man described as carrying a loaded handgun with dozens of rounds travel from Delaware to an elementary school in Union County?
Tamaques Elementary School was put on lockdown Thursday afternoon after police found a man with a handgun, hollow-point bullets and 130 rounds of ammunition sitting inside an SUV in the school's parking lot.
Delaware State Police notified police in this township that Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, of Bear, Delaware, was on his way to the school with weapons, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport.
Davenport on Friday said that police found Wilkie in a 2019 Mitsubishi SUV with a .45-caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets and two additional loaded magazines of ammunition along with 130 additional rounds of ammunition in the trunk.
A spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office did not say why Wilkie was at the school.
Wilkie was arrested and charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree possession of hollow-point bullets and fourth-degree trespassing on school grounds. A Superior Court hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday in Elizabeth. Prosecutors intend to ask the judge to keep him locked up before trial.
New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said after-school activities were underway at the school when Wilkie was found.
Battiloro said police conducted a search of the school with K9 units and children were released about 5:30 p.m.
Extra police were present at the school on Friday to assure parents and children the building was safe.