WASHINGTON, Mo. — Washington district schools are canceled after a school janitor made 'concerning' statements during an incident off campus.
Thomas W. Wingfield from Union, Mo. is a non-certified employee who worked overnight shifts. A friend of Wingfield told police there was going to be 'a lot of shooting at 7 this morning.'
The janitor was taken into custody for possession of marijuana on Wednesday when Union police found ammunition and more than 35 grams of marijuana while searching his house.
Wingfield was being investigated for stealing from a convenience store right after he pulled out a gun on a stranded driver on Interstate 70 in St. Peters.
The Washington Police Department said the employee made no direct threats to anyone in the district.
Police said Wingfield was displaying bizarre, confrontational behavior towards school employees earlier this week and was since barred from school grounds. The school scheduled a meeting with Wingfield about his behavior, which was set for 1 p.m. Thursday.
But, after being held on misdemeanor charges in O’Fallon, the school made the decision to cancel all classes at every school in case Wingfield would be released before school was out.
“His friend who was with him was gone from the scene; we wanted time to look for him, investigate that part of it and to see if there was a plot, if there was anything going on. We needed to make sure everyone was accounted for,” said Sgt. Steve Stizes with the Washington Police Department.
Schools in the Washington School District will be open tomorrow. Police said there will be a number of officers at the schools not because there is a threat, but to ensure students and staff feel safe.
The school said the classes were canceled "due to a situation that is currently being investigated by the Washington Police Department."
All scheduled events after school were canceled as well.
The Washington School District includes Augusta Elementary, Campbellton Elementary, Clearview Elementary, Labadie Elementary, Marthasville Elementary, South Point Elementary, Washington West Elementary, Washington Middle, Washington High, Four Rivers Career Center and Early Learning Center.