Heater malfunction mistaken for gunfire at high school

Active shooter at North Carolina high school, police on scene: reports

Police Responding to Reports of Active Shooter at North Carolina High School

HAMPSTEAD - Pender County Sheriff's deputies are on the scene of an active shooter call at Topsail High School.

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

Ferguson said there was a report of an active shooter at Topsail High School on Friday morning after noises were heard coming from the top of the building.

As of 7 a.m., Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff's Office said that no injuries had been reported but it was still an active scene.

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News reports quote Pender County emergency management director Tom Collins as saying that noise from the water heater was taken for the sound of gunfire at Topsail High School on Friday morning.

The water heater was reportedly damaged during Hurricane Florence.

Live footage shows numerous law enforcement agencies now at the school where the scene remains active.

Williams also praised law enforcement officials for their quick response. It does sound like gunfire.

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"There's no active shooter", Collins said.

Authorities were alerted around 6:30 a.m., according to ABC11, The News & Observer's media partner.

School buses have been corralled at the Lowes Foods parking lot across from the school campus.

Topsail High School, Topsail Middle School, and Topsail Elementary School were all put on lockdown.

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Hampstead is about 20 miles north of the city of Wilmington.

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