Collingswood Man Faces Weapons Charges Amid Elementary School Lockdown


Elijah Clay, 64, was arrested after an off-duty detective allegedly saw him carrying a BB gun near the Mark Newbie Elementary School Monday morning.

By Matt Skoufalos | September 10, 2018

Collingswood Police Embem. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

A Collingswood man was arrested Monday morning after an off-duty detective allegedly saw him leaving his car with a gun near a borough elementary school.

According to Collingswood Police, an off-duty Camden County Prosecutor’s Office detective allegedly spotted 64-year-old Elijah Clay carrying a gun at the intersection of East Browning Road and Maple Avenue just after 8 a.m. September 10.

The detective allegedly detained Clay until Collingswood officers arrived. Although the weapon involved was revealed to be a BB gun, nearby Mark Newbie Elementary School was placed on lockdown as a precaution.

Clay was arrested without incident, according to police. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, a third-degree offense. As of Monday evening, Clay was in custody at the Camden County jail, awaiting a pretrial hearing.

In an e-mail to parents, the district reported that “students and staff implemented security procedures exactly as we have drilled,” and offered a reminder to not approach the building during visible emergencies.

“The flashing blue lights at the school entrances and audible alarms indicate some form of trouble or a drill,” the message read.

“Do not approach the school, do not cross onto the sidewalk in front of the school, and do not continue to the front door. Please stay back and await further direction from law enforcement and school personnel.”

Anyone charged with a criminal offense is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.

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