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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

NHCSO charges 12-year-old for Holly Shelter Middle School hoax call

Holly Shelter Middle School in northern New Hanover County.
Holly Shelter Middle School in northern New Hanover County.

On Tuesday afternoon, a hoax call alleging an active shooter put Holly Shelter Middle School into lockdown. Less than 24 hours later, authorities arrested a juvenile suspect.

According to the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, a 12-year-old male was charged for "a false report of an active shooter."

NHCSO said, "the male juvenile called 911 at 3:52 pm and reported an active shooter on the school grounds. Deputies along with our partnering law enforcement agencies responded to the school, cleared the school of any threats, and found no evidence of an active shooter. After the investigation, it was determined that the report was false, and charged a 12-year-old male for false report concerning mass violence on education property."

Related: NHCSO: Another hoax suspected after active shooter threat locks down Holly Shelter Middle School

Sheriff Ed McMahon said in a statement, "[w]e take all reports of active shooters seriously, and this false report caused unnecessary disruption and fear in the community. We are thankful that there was no actual threat and that no one was harmed, but we are sending a strong message that false reports will not be tolerated. I want to thank all our partnering agencies that came to help us clear the school. All of us working together makes our community safer.”

"Making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property" is a Class H felony.

According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, "at age 13 or older, a juvenile may be “transferred” to adult criminal court, if a juvenile court judge finds probable cause that the juvenile committed a felony offense and conducts a transfer hearing." This means the suspect likely won't be tried as an adult.