NC Police: Active Shooter Reported At High School (Updated)
Update: There was no active shooter. It was a malfunctioning heater:
A malfunctioning heater was the source of reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School in North Carolina, according to a local official.
“There’s no active shooter,” Tom Collins, the Pender County Emergency Management Director, told the Wilmington Star-News. “It’s a malfunctioning water heater.”
Collins said popping from the malfunctioning heater “sounded just like an AR-15 [semiautomatic rifle] going off.”
The school confirmed the situation was a false alarm. “There was a report of an active shooter situation at Topsail High School this morning after noises were heard coming from the top of the building,” said Pender Schools on Twitter. “Law enforcement responded immediately and it has been determined there is no shooter and no weapon.”
An active shooter was reported to police between 6:30 and 7:00am on Friday at at Topsail High School in Penderson County, North Carolina.
Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office told WECT-TV that the scene at Topsail High School remains active, and there were no immediate reports of injuries Friday.
Reports have come out that the shooter has positioned himself on top of the building, but police have yet to confirm that.
“It’s extremely busy right now,” an emergency dispatcher told Time magazine. “All of our units are trying to take this person into custody.”
Law enforcement in @PenderCounty_NC is responding to reports of an active shooter at Topsail High School this morning. According to Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, it is still an active scene. #ILM #Brunsco #Pender #CapeFear
— Joe Catenacci (@JoeCats19) November 9, 2018
Surf City Middle School, which is just a few miles away, as well as several other schools in Pender County were placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Fortunately, this happened before school. Police told my wife Surf City Middle buses were taking kids to the Lowe’s in Surf City. Not sure about other schools.
— Marlon Weems (@GeekTrader) November 9, 2018
Buses for those three schools are being staged at the Lowe’s Foods across from the schools, and parents have been notified they can pick up their bus-riding children there.
Staff at those three schools are being asked to report to Lowe’s Foods as well.
Buses for South Topsail Elementary, North Topsail Elementary and Surf City schools are being taken to their respective school campuses where students will remain on lockdown on their school buses.
Parents planning to take their children to school this morning are asked not to do so at this time since all schools are on lockdown.
The story is developing…