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Backfire, not shooter

UPDATE 6:57 a.m.

A county official says reports of an active shooter at a school in North Carolina on Friday turned out to be malfunctioning water heater.

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins told The Star-News that noise from the water heater was taken for the sound of gunfire at Topsail High School on Friday morning.

"There's no active shooter," Collins said. "It's a malfunctioning water heater."

The earlier report of shots fired provoked a massive response by law enforcement and caused the school district to reroute buses and put schools on lockdown.


ORIGINAL 5:20 a.m.

Authorities in North Carolina have responded to reports of an active shooter at a high school.

Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff's Office tells WECT-TV that the scene at Topsail High School remains active, and there were no immediate reports of injuries Friday.

Reports of an active shooter came in around 6:30 a.m. According to its website, school begins at 8:30 a.m.

Topsail High School is located near the coast in Hampstead, about 20 miles (32 kilometres) north of Wilmington. It has around 1,300 students enrolled.

In May, an 18-year-old student was found in the school's parking lot with a large knife strapped to his leg and three other knives. 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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