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.”
The panic resulted in Topsail and a number of surrounding schools being put into lockdown.
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. Law enforcement responded immediately and it has been determined there is no shooter and no weapon. 1/2
At around 7 a.m., sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina responded to reports of an active shooter at the school, about 20 miles north of Wilmington.
Pender County Schools initially confirmed the reports of the shooter and said the district was “taking all precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff.”
An emergency dispatcher with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office told TIME that multiple units were on scene at the school as of 7 a.m. Friday.
“It’s extremely busy right now. All of our units are trying to take this person into custody,” the dispatcher said.
Capt. James Rowell, of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, said no injuries were reported, according to local media WWAY-TV in Wilmington.
There has been a reported active shooter situation at Topsail High School. Pender County Schools is taking all precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff.At this time, all campuses on the eastern side of the county are on lockdown. Buses are being staged at Lowe’s Foods across from Topsail Elementary. All staff at Topsail Elementary, Topsail Middle, and Topsail High please report to Lowe’s Foods.
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A student has been killed and another taken into custody and charged with murder, after a shooting at a high school in North Carolina, an incident apparently triggered by a dispute over bullying by two 16-year-old youths.
Police in the town of Matthews, 10 miles southeast of Charlotte, confirmed that a lockdown had been ordered at Butler High School after reports were received of shots being fired at around 7.15am. The lockdown was subsequently lifted and parents were able to collect their children
“We have responded to a shooting at Butler High School this morning. There is one student that has been shot that was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries at this time,” the city's police force said in a post on Facebook.
“Another student has been taken into custody. This is believed to be an isolated incident and the scene has now been secured by police. Information on releasing students to their parents will be coming soon.”
Local news channel WDBO said the victim had been taken to the Carolinas Medical Centre. It was later reported the victim had died from his injuries.
Television images showed groups of anxious parents standing close to the school, waiting for more information as to who had been hurt.
Police Supt Clayton Wilcox said during a press conference outside the school, that the suspected shooter, himself a student had been wounded, and was at that time undergoing surgery.
Mr Wilcox said the shooting occurred after a disagreement between two students. The disagreement occurred in a hallway and there were “many kids in the hallways when it took place”, he said, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Later, the victim was named as 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen.
Matthews Police Department Capt Stason Tyrrell said that another 16-year-old, Jatwan Craig Cuffie, had been detained and charged with first-degree murder. He was charged as an adult and is being held in the Mecklenburg County jail.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from a case of bullying “that escalated out of control”. Neither Mr Wilcox nor Mr Tyrrell said which student was being bullied, the Associated Press said.