Local authorities in Tamaques, New Jersey, were called to Tamaques Elementary School yesterday around 4:00 pm, after reports came in to the police station about a man on his way to the school who ‘may be armed,’ per prosecutors.
The man, now known to be Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, is from Delaware and was thankfully located in the school’s parking lot.
Shockingly, yet also relieving to learn, Wilkie was found sitting in his car with a loaded .45-caliber shotgun. In addition, he also had two other loaded clips of ammunition, and a whopping 130 additional rounds were located in his trunk.
According to a local news outlet, 4 New York, the man was planning on targeting the school because of a love-gone-bad situation and had his eye on one of the school’s faculty members. While this news is awful no matter the intent, it is good to learn that children weren’t the target and no lives were lost.
‘According to the official, Wilkie made entrance to the school searching for a woman he had been in a relationship with — but he did not have a weapon on him at this point. When she wasn’t there he allegedly returned to his car and called the woman who said she was at a tutoring appointment but would return to the school.’
It was his brother that made the call to alert authorities about Wilkie’s mental state. He reportedly said that his brother was “in a bad place mentally.”
Statement/press release from the Westfield, New Jersey Police Department’s Facebook page:
Press release from Union County Prosecutor’s Office:Man arrested with handgun, ammunition outside Westfield elementary…
New Jersey has been working on straightening up and tightening gun-related issues as of late. Check out excerpts of information from the state, as reported by the website Insider NJ:
‘Yesterday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee voted on a set of new bills that would add new restrictions on purchasing and owning firearms in New Jersey. NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, standing up for legal gun owners, released the following statement:
“It’s time that New Jersey Republicans stop worrying about who they might offend and start standing up for what they believe in.’
While Wilkie’s mental instability has been made clear by his actions on Thursday, it is not known at this time how he obtained the firearms and ammunition or if he did so legally. New Jersey is one of nine states that requires gun-enthusiasts to have a license in order to purchase them. The other eight states are Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina, as well as in Washington, D.C.
Wilkie has since been taken in custody and is set to appear in court on June 19th. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in state prison.