More than 33,000 people were without electricity Monday after two power substations in a North Carolina county were damaged by gunfire in what law enforcement officials called a “targeted” attack that could leave residents without power for days.
A person “opened fire” at both substations Saturday, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said during a news conference. He did not say how the person got past the gates at either substation, but a photo from The Pilot shows the gate to one of the substations on the ground.
The outages began in Carthage, North Carolina, around 7 p.m. Saturday and then spread through the majority of central and southern Moore County, Fields said. He said power crews and deputies found “extensive damage” at the substations.
Fields said the FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the attack, but authorities have not determined a motive.
It is unclear whether there are multiple shooters involved, but Fields said the “person” or “persons” knew “exactly what they were doing.”
“It was targeted; it wasn’t random,” he said at a news conference Sunday.
Gov. Roy Cooper said on Twitter the state is providing resources to investigators and power crews.
“An attack like this on critical infrastructure is a serious, intentional crime and I expect state and federal authorities to thoroughly investigate and bring those responsible to justice,” Cooper said.