'Faulty mechanical equipment' to blame for active shooter reports at Topsail High

Topsail High School

Topsail High School

Pender County Schools said in a statement, "There has been a reported active shooter situation at Topsail high School".

The sheriff's spokesman said law enforcement officers were still searching the campus as a precaution but preliminary reports indicate that it was faulty equipment.

Police responded to a call from Topsail High School near Wilmington at about 6.30am Friday.

The Topsail High School campus is shut down, with all access roads barricaded by law enforcement. "It's a malfunctioning water heater".

No injuries were reported, the Star-News reported.

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Police tell WECT that there were not many people in the school, as the incident reportedly began before 7 a.m. Students and parents have been gathering at a Lowe's Foods across the street from the school.

It was not immediately clear what caused the water heater to malfunction. The equipment sounds similar to gunfire when it is not working properly. Authorities said he claimed to have brought the gun to school because he planned to stop a rumored school shooter.

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 Pender County dispatcher told Reuters that deputies were responding to a situation at a local high school, but could not elaborate.

Topsail High School is about 105 miles southeast of Raleigh.

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