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Hoax threats against schools across the state not just pranks

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DURHAM, N.C. — After dozens of reports of active shooter situations on school campuses rolled across North Carolina on Thursday, law enforcement officers issued this reminder: Any threat against a school is not simply a prank. It is a felony.

From east in little Washington to west in Brevard County, North Carolina schools were targeted by false threats and deceptive calls. In no case was a threat actually found.

Lt. Patrice Bogertey, spokesperson for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, said, “It wasn’t an actual threat. There never was. We’re seeing that this is a trend throughout our state here recently.

“What this does to law enforcement, and any first responder, is it puts us on high alert because we don’t know that it’s a false threat until we get there.”

  • In Fayetteville, when someone called 911 reporting students had been shot at Jack Britt High School on Rockfish Road. That report was also false, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Leesville Road Middle School in Raleigh was also on lockdown Thursday for about 10 minutes after a prank call that police received.
  • In Charlotte, local media reported prank calls to four schools: Olympic High School, Mallard Creek High School, West Charlotte High School, and Northwest School of the Arts.
  • The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office investigated a report of an active shooter at East Bladen High School.
  • The Elizabeth City Police Department said threats were made Northeastern High School via an anonymous text.
  • The Burlington Police Department responded to an incident at Williams High School. The school is currently on lockdown.
  • WECT News reported New Hanover High School in Wilmington was also the victim of a hoax.
  • WXII reported lockdowns at Wilkes Central and Williams high schools.
  • A spokesperson from New Hanover said similar pranks calls have been placed at schools and government buildings across the country this week.

Durham police Lt. Quincey Tait said, “It’s a threat of mass violence is what it is. Even though it’s a hoax, it’s still a felony.”

Firefighters and police swarmed to Hillside High School in Durham in response to the report of an active shooter. That threat was quickly determined to be a hoax.

A mother whose children attend Hillside said she heard a Vance County high school was also on lockdown Thursday morning.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said several schools in his state were also targeted by a hoax and false reports about an active shooter on Wednesday.

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