Active shooter reports at high school in North Carolina deemed false alarm

The Topsail High School campus in Hampstead is shut down and all other schools in eastern Pender County are on lockdown

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

Pender County Emergency Director Tom Collins said he also believed a malfunctioning water heater caused a gunfire noise and that the sheriff's office is expected to hold a news conference soon.

Deputies did find an HVAC unit that was malfunctioning and making sounds similar to gunshots.

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

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A Pender County dispatcher told Reuters that deputies were responding to a situation at a local high school, but could not elaborate. Topsail High, Topsail Middle, and Topsail Elementary remain on lockdown.

Reports of an active shooter came in around 6:30 a.m.

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. Parents should not bring students to these schools, according to Miranda Ferguson, Pender County schools spokesperson.

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The lockdown for Topsail High, Middle and Elementary schools was lifted about 9:30 a.m. local time when staff members were allowed to enter.

Students that were already on buses were transported to the Lowes Foods across from the school. It was reported a piece of equipment had been malfunctioning over recent days which made a sound like gun fire. It has around 1,300 students enrolled. A 16-year-old boy who authorities say armed himself with a semi-automatic rifle after hearing about that potential attack also was arrested.

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