Officials have confirmed the "active shooter" was, in fact, malfunctioning equipment.
According to Commissioner George Brown, a piece of equipment at the school campus, a water heater, has been malfunctioning in recent days, emitting a sound similar to gunfire.
Live footage shows numerous law enforcement agencies now at the school where the scene remains active.
HAMPSTEAD - Pender County Sheriff's deputies are on the scene of an active shooter call at Topsail High School. 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.
Reports said that a malfunctioning heater sparked the reports of an active shooter.
When deputies arrived, they heard the sound of gunshots.
All schools in eastern Pender County were placed on lockdown.
There was a heavy law enforcement presence at the school, which is located at 245 N. Saint Johns Church Road in Hampstead, when the reports of an active shooter first surfaced. Staff members of those schools were asked to report to the same place.
School buses have been corralled at the Lowes Foods parking lot across from the school campus.
Two Topsail High School students were arrested in May after allegedly bringing weapons onto campus, including one student who went to school armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
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