HAMPSTEAD — The active shooter situation at Topsail High School was the result of malfunctioning equipment, Pender County officials now confirm.
The Pender County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call around 6:30 a.m., followed by numerous units neighboring from law enforcement agencies.
At 8:30 a.m. Friday morning Pender County Commissioner George Brown confirmed the active shooting reported at Topsail High School earlier this morning was a false alarm.
“What I’m hearing is that it’s a false alarm. We’re sorry to put everyone through the ordeal,” Brown said.
Brown said that apparently there is a defective steam water heater that causes a piece of equipment to slam shut, causing a loud noise that sounds like gunfire. Brown said he felt the police response was appropriate.
“Someone saw an individual on the roof earlier this morning, and we have to take it seriously. In this climate, you have to take it seriously,” Brown said.
Miranda Ferguson, Pender County Schools spokesperson, confirmed that Topsail High, Topsail Middle, and Topsail Elementary remain on lockdown. All other schools have returned to normal operation.