Faulty mechanical equipment which was making a sound that resembled gunfire is believed to have led to calls of an active shooter situation at Topsail High School in Pender County, NC. No evidence of a shooter was ever found and no injuries were reported.

“When I arrived on scene, what I heard sounded like gunfire,” explained Sheriff Carson Smith. “Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Smith said stress levels were high as the calls came in and he could hear the sound of gunshots in the background of the radio traffic.

“I heard dozens [of ‘shots’],” Smith explained, adding he said a prayer while driving to Topsail High school.

According to Capt. James Rowell with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, crews searched the entire building, clearing the school room by room but found no evidence of an active shooter, reports WECT.

“Today turned out to be a test and everyone passed that test,” said District Attorney Ben David. “I can tell you it absolutely sounded real. These young people did not overreact. They did exactly what they are supposed to do.”

David was pleased to see how quickly everyone responded to this situation. Several agencies joined efforts and came together to do what they were trained to do.

“What I saw today across the board is something that should make this community proud,” David said.


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