DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Eight high schools across the state, including in Fayetteville, Roanoke Rapids and Durham were targeted Thursday by calls reporting active shooters that turned out to be hoaxes, according to law enforcement and school officials.
More than seven agencies responded to Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville shortly after 8:30 a.m. for an active shooter call claiming multiple students had been shot. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the call, said no threat or shooting ever took place.
At 11:03 a.m. a school district in Burlington lifted a lockdown after another fake active shooter 911 call was made in reference to Williams High School.
The Burlington Police Department determined the call was “part of a hoax,” according to a statement from Alamance-Burlington Schools.
The statement further said the “same number that called 911 reportedly made similar calls regarding other schools in the state today.”
This morning a CBS 17 crew went to Hillside High School in Durham where yet another call just before 10 a.m. was determined to be a hoax.
A lockdown order was issued after Durham police said they received a call of an active shooter.
Police said they searched the building but did not find any victims or evidence of a shooting.
“We do not know until we’ve searched a building, evacuated a building in some cases if not all, so we still have to take every call as serious as possible so it’s very serious,” Durham Police Department Lt. Quincey Tait told CBS 17 News.
Then, just before noon, the Roanoke Rapids Police Department confirmed another call at Roanoke Rapids High School claimed a fake active shooter situation in a post to Facebook.
Police said 15 law enforcement officer were on scene, checking every building on campus within three minutes with an SRO officer on scene within 30 seconds.
“We want to remind everyone that calling in hoaxes is a crime,” police also said while thanking all area partners such as EMS, Highway Patrol and the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office for their quick responses.
Just after 1:30 p.m., the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said a fifth school, East Bladen High School had been the target of a fifth hoax call.
The school in Elizabethtown was thoroughly checked by law enforcement minutes after the call claimed an active shooting was on campus around 12:15 p.m.
Further hoax calls were reported throughout Thursday morning and afternoon at schools across the eastern United States.
Schools that reported similar calls in North Carolina throughout the day included Wilkes Central High School in Wilkesboro, Grimsley High School in Greensboro and Parkland High School in Winston-Salem.