Haywood authorities: Emergency alert intended only for people in 1-mile radius of incident

A screen shot of an alert Haywood County authorities sent out on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff/Pixabay)

Officials say an emergency alert sent out by Haywood County law enforcement on Thursday night was only intended to reach those within a one-mile radius of the incident.

Deputies arrested Kyle Byrd after they received calls about a man firing his gun in the Hemphill community on Thursday night.

Authorities used the Haywood Alert to tell people on their cell phones to avoid the area. It was meant to go to those in a one-mile radius, but instead it reached a lot further, even to people not registered with the system.

Although emergency management officials said a computer software glitch caused the error, they said the system did work.

"We now know, because of that, that everybody was notified. The system works. We're looking into why those things occurred," Greg Shuping, of Haywood County Emergency Services, said.

"We have a very successful rate, so far, registering our citizens. And we still want to encourage everybody to please visit the site or text their ZIP to 888-777," Zack Koonce, of Emergency Services Operations, said.

After the initial alert went out, another was sent advising people that the alert only affected those in the Shelton Cove area.

Byrd is charged with being intoxicated and disruptive, going armed to the terror of the public, and felony assault for pointing a firearm at law enforcement. He was hospitalized for tear gas.

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