Police arrest man with loaded gun, 130 rounds of ammo outside New Jersey elementary school

Police arrest man with loaded gun, 130 rounds of ammo outside New Jersey elementary school

A Delaware man was arrested Friday after police found him in a New Jersey elementary school parking lot with a loaded handgun and more than 130 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

Police found Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, sitting in the front seat of his car and holding a loaded .45-caliber handgun outside Tamaques Elementary School in Westfield, New Jersey, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. He had two loaded clips of ammunition on him, and another 130 rounds in the trunk of his car, according to the statement.

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Wilkie has been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree possession of hollow-point bullets of hollow-point bullets and fourth-degree trespassing on school grounds, prosecutors said. He's being detained at the Union County Jail.

Police were called to Tamaques Elementary School on Thursday at about 4 p.m. Thursday after reports that a man, later identified as Wilkie, was on his way to the school and may be armed, prosecutors said.

A senior law enforcement official told NBC 4 that Wilkie’s brother alerted authorities, allegedly stating that his brother was in a bad place mentally.

Wilkie allegedly went to the school to look for a female faculty member with whom he had been in a relationship, the law enforcement official told NBC.

He reportedly entered the school unarmed but did not find the woman, eventually returning to his car and to call her, the official said. The woman picked up and said she was tutoring but that she’d be back at the school later, according to NBC.

Wilkie then called his brother, the law enforcement official said. The official told NBC that Wilkie's brother called Delaware State Police, and the school was placed on lockdown as a security precaution.

Wilkie was taken into custody and is set to appear in court for an initial hearing on June 19, the prosecutor’s office said. If convicted, he could spend between 5 and 10 years in state prison.