NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A number of school systems around Eastern North Carolina and the state received anonymous hoax phone calls about active shooter situations and other threats on Thursday.
School systems in Craven, Beaufort and Onslow were among those impacted by the hoaxes. The FBI has been called in to investigate. On Thursday, a statement was released about the statewide calls.
“FBI Charlotte is aware of numerous threats to area schools and are in touch with the local law enforcement agencies involved. We urge the public to remain vigilant, and report any and all suspicious activity and/or individuals to law enforcement immediately.”
The Craven County Sheriff’s Office said an anonymous phone call it received Thursday morning regarding an “incident” at New Bern High School was determined to be a hoax.
The sheriff’s office said similar calls have “apparently been received at other Eastern North Carolina schools.” More reports of hoax calls have been popping up among school districts around the state.
“Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for these hoaxes is asked to contact your local law enforcement agency,” a press release reads.
Northside High School in Jacksonville received a hoax call Thursday morning.
“We received a call this morning on our admin line, which is a little strange about possible shooting inside one of our local high schools,” said Sgt. Timothy Sawyer, head of school resource officers for the Jacksonville Police Department. “So it prompted a quick and immediate response to the school, which was Northside High School. We already had an SRO on scene who got to check the school as we were approaching, and pretty much downgraded everybody to it wasn’t a valuable threat.”
Beaufort County Schools received a similar call about an alleged incident at Washington High School, according to public information officer Kristin Riddle. The school went into lockdown as a precautionary measure. The call was determined to be a hoax; there was no active shooter situation, and no one was hurt. The lockdown was eventually lifted.
Around noon Thursday, Beaufort County Community College announced its campus had been locked down out of an “abundance of caution.” That lockdown has since been lifted as well.
Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright posted a similar announcement on Facebook Thursday.
WGHP reported that Williams High School in Burlington was locked down Thursday. The lockdown was eventually lifted.
WNCN reported that high schools in Roanoke Rapids and Durham were also targeted Thursday morning by false reports of active shooters. Hillside High School in Durham and Roanoke Rapids High School received hoax calls.