Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Heater malfunction mistaken for gunfire at North Carolina high school

Law enforcement responding to calls of active shooter at Topsail High Law enforcement is responding to reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School Friday morning
Patty Aguilar | 09 November, 2018, 16:57

Police responded Friday morning to reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School in eastern North Carolina, but officials later determined a faulty water heater was to blame for the scare, according to local reports.

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. No injuries have been reported.

Capt. James Rowell of the Pender County Sheriff's Office was quoted by WTVD-TV as saying that deputies swept the school but found no evidence that any shots had been fired.

Commissioner George Brown told WECT that there is a piece of equipment at the school that has been malfunctioning recently and sounds like gunfire when it makes noise.

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Topsail High, Topsail Middle, and Topsail Elementary remain on lockdown.

An emergency dispatcher with the Pender County Sheriff's Office tells TIME that multiple units are on scene at the school as of 7 a.m. Friday. Staff members of those schools were asked to report to the same place.

School buses headed for the school were being diverted to a nearby Lowe's grocery parking lot. The earlier report of shots fired provoked a massive response by law enforcement and caused the school district to reroute buses and put schools on lockdown.

News of a possible active shooter at the school has undoubtedly alarmed many parents in light of the mass shooting late Wednesday night in Souther California at a country western bar that left 13 people dead, including the suspected gunman who apparently killed himself.

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