New Bern police now say they believe a prank caller was responsible for a massive police action that forced two schools to go on lockdown Thursday morning.
The lockdown at New Bern High School was lifted just before noon, while a similar situation at Ben Quinn Elementary was lifted about an hour earlier. Both happened as police searched nearby for a possible shooting victim.
It started around 9:10 a.m. when police say they got a call of a person shot off Myrtle Grove Road. That's not far from the high school.
Police say their concerns were heightened because the initial call to 911 cut off before the conversation was finished.
Ben Quinn Elementary School had been placed on lockdown, but that was lifted after about an hour. The lockdown at the high school was lifted around 11:45 a.m.
The schools were placed on lockdown as a safety precaution. Police brought in multiple tracking dogs and utilized a Highway Patrol helicopter in the search of several neighborhoods.
Police found no evidence of a shooting and cleared the area around 12: 45 p.m.
Chief Frank Palombo says they believe the same person made another 911 hoax call last month. He says if they catch the person they will face charges and pursue having them back the city back for lost manpower.