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Law enforcement investigating school shooting threat that appears to be widespread hoax

The threat, shared on social media, does not specify a school, county, or even a state, and appears to have caused panic in several regions, including North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. New Hanover County Schools have not altered their schedule, but law enforcement is investigating.

Note: This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.

The post threatened to “shoot up the school and kill all the students” on Friday morning, but did not specify a location.

Below: The post, which has been shared across several states.

A spokesperson for the New Hanover County Schools district said, “the school is taking appropriate actions in response to the online threat. Law enforcement authorities are actively investigating the matter, and the same threat is affecting school districts across North Carolina, Florida, and Alabama.”

Multiple school districts in southern Florida reported the threat, leading to an investigation by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, which determined it was likely a hoax, according to ABC News affiliate WPBF.

In New Hanover County, the post was shared widely on Thursday, including by students. In some cases, students assumed the threat was directed at Ashley High School because of two recent incidents where guns were found on students there.

Law enforcement is investigating, but there is not currently evidence that the threat — which, again, is impacting multiple states — was in any way tied to Ashley.

NHCS noted that all four high schools — Laney, Ashley, Hoggard, and New Hanover — have or are in the process of notifying parents, as had Anderson and Murray middle schools.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.