Washington district employee sought to purchase more guns, ammo - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

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Washington district employee sought to purchase more guns, ammo before arrest

Thomas Wingfield, 33, was charged with stealing on March 8, 2018 (Credit: O'Fallon, Missouri Police) Thomas Wingfield, 33, was charged with stealing on March 8, 2018 (Credit: O'Fallon, Missouri Police)
Outside of Washington, Missouri High School (Credit: KMOV) Outside of Washington, Missouri High School (Credit: KMOV)

WASHINGTON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A Union, Missouri man was charged Thursday with possession of a controlled substance following a series of events that eventually led the Washington, Missouri public school system to close for the day.

According to police, Thomas Wingfield, 33, was seen waving a handgun at a stranded motorist on Interstate 70 in St. Peters early Thursday morning.

“He actually pulled a handgun on an individual that was broke down on the highway near Highway 70 and Mid Rivers Mall area,” said Detective Sergeant Steve Sitze with the Washington Police Department. 

Officers in O’Fallon, Missouri located Wingfield at a nearby convenience store and seized a handgun from him. He was arrested for stealing candy.

A witness who was with Wingfield earlier in the night said the suspect had attempted to purchase an additional handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition but was denied. The witness also told police Wingfield stated there “would be a shooting” at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Court records show Wingfield was recently suspended from his job with the Washington School District. 

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After the arrest, Union police officers searched Wingfield’s home, where they found 35 grams of marijuana and seized two empty boxes for rifles that were recently purchased.

Police also said Wingfield made statements about his second and fourth amendment rights. They also said there was a concern for the man’s mental state.

“He was not operating in the right frame of mind at this point, not dealing with reality too well,” Sitze said.

Washington Police officials said they did not have a lot of time to look into the employee’s background and the situation before the school day started so they made the decision to close schools out of an abundance of caution. 

“Although there isn’t any threat to our schools, more time is needed to analyze this concern,” the district tweeted

The situation, which unfolded early Thursday, prompted school officials to cancel all activities, despite no direct threat being made to the school’s employees or students. The 4Warn Storm Mode Tour stop scheduled for Thursday night at Washington High School was also canceled.

News 4 is currently working on a makeup date for the Storm Mode Tour.

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