Reports of active shooter turn out to be malfunctioning water heater

Cheryl Sanders
November 9, 2018

Reports of an active shooter at a school in North Carolina were unfounded, Pender County emergency management director Tom Collins told news outlets Friday.

It is not known if there are students on the premises; Topsail High School's homeroom bell is at 8:20 a.m., the call was placed around 6:30 a.m.

Reports said that a malfunctioning heater sparked the reports of an active shooter.

Law enforcement is responding to reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School.

Police tell WECT that there were not many people in the school, as the incident reportedly began before 7 a.m. Students and parents have been gathering at a Lowe's Foods across the street from the school.

Officials have confirmed the "active shooter" was, in fact, malfunctioning equipment.

Deputies did find an HVAC unit that was malfunctioning and making sounds similar to gunshots. Topsail Elementary, Middle, and High schools remain on lockdown.

Pender County schools posted on Twitter that all campuses on the eastern side of the county are on lockdown. Parents should not bring students to these schools, according to Miranda Ferguson, Pender County schools spokesperson. "Law enforcement responded immediately and it has been determined there is no shooter and no weapon".

Topsail High School is about 105 miles southeast of Raleigh.

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