BREAKING: Police are responding to reports of an active shooter at a North Carolina high school
UPDATE: A county official has since said that noise from a malfunctioning water heater was mistaken for gun fire, "However, they are taking this seriously and making sure."
Police in North Carolina are responding to reports of an active shooter at a high school.
An emergency dispatcher with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that multiple units are on scene at Topsail High School outside Wilmington, as of 7 am Friday.
It is not clear if anyone has been hurt.
According to Captain James Rowell, there have been no reported injuries so far, but the scene is still active.
"It’s extremely busy right now," an emergency dispatcher told Time magazine. "All of our units are trying to take this person into custody."
The police now reportedly believe that the noise of a malfunctioning heater was mistaken for gunfire, but are still investigating.
Pender County Sheriff’s Office told the local media they had sent officers to investigate "reports of an active shooter", but when they arrived on the scene, they found no gunman or injured people.
George Brown, chair of Pender County board of commissioners, said: "There is a piece of equipment at the school that has been malfunctioning in recent days that makes noise. It does sound like gunfire. This has been going on for several days. That may be the source that is being considered. However, they are taking this seriously and making sure."
After police were called at 6.30am local time, all schools in the east of Pender County were put on lockdown.
Classes had not yet started but there were thought to have been some pupils in the school at the time of the incident.