A Union County grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against a Delaware man found to be in possession of a firearm, numerous rounds of ammunition, and a folding knife outside a Westfield elementary school earlier this year, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced 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.
At approximately 3:55 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2019, Westfield Police Department patrol 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 en route to the school and potentially armed, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Theresa Hilton, who is prosecuting the case.
The school was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure to identify any other potential threats. Arriving officers located Wilkie in the front seat of his vehicle, a 2019 Mitsubishi SUV, parked in the school’s parking lot, holding a .45-caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets. Two additional loaded clips of ammunition and a folding knife were recovered from Wilkie’s person, while 130 additional rounds of ammunition were located in the vehicle’s trunk.
Wilkie was taken into custody without incident and lodged in Union County Jail, where he was ordered to remain detained pending the adjudication of his case.
Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.