Gunman arrested at school was seeking teacher

Thomas J. Wilkie

The Delaware man apprehended Thursday afternoon outside a Westfield elementary school with a handgun and numerous rounds of ammunition, allegedly had a romantic relationship with a teacher who works there.

Thomas J. Wilkie, 46, of Bear, Delaware, was taken into custody about 3:55 p.m. on Thursday, by Westfield police officers who responded to Tamaques Elementary School on a report that the suicidal lover was en route to the school.

According to Union County prosecutors, police went to the school after the New Castle County Police Department in Delaware told them Wilkie was headed there and might be armed.

Police in Delaware had been alerted by Wilkie’s brother, who he had called while stalking the teacher outside the school.

According to reports, Wilkie had entered the building several times asking to speak to the teacher with whom he had the relationship.

Wilkie went to the school seeking his lover, a teacher who was not at the school when he arrived after the final bell.

That teacher later told police that Wilkie called her at about 3:36 p.m. asking to stay at her place.

A law enforcement source said that while Wilkie waited for the teacher to return, he called his brother, who became concerned and notified Delaware State Police.

Wilkie had been living with his parents in Delaware and claimed to be homeless in social media posts.

Court documents related to the arrest and federal bankruptcy filings described Wilkie as chronically unemployed, divorced and paying child support. A motorcycle and car he owned had been repossessed recently.

Classes had already concluded for the day, but the school went on lockdown once the alert came in because after-school activities were taking place.

Wilkie was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree possession of hollow-point bullets, and fourth-degree trespassing on school grounds.

He faces an additional charge of third-degree possession of a firearm in or upon the grounds of an educational institution, which was filed against him in Superior Court. He may face other charges for transporting firearms across state lines but authorities may seek to have him committed for psychiatric care.

Wilkie is expected to appear in court today and if convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison although no shots were fired.

Officers found 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 were recovered from Wilkie’s person, while 130 additional rounds of ammunition were located in the vehicle’s trunk.

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