Power Back On in North Carolina County; Investigators Still Looking for Gunmen Who Shot Up Substations

The curfew is over in a North Carolina county where gunmen attacked two power stations over the weekend, cutting the electricity to tens of thousands of customers.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said his investigators “are committed” to tracking down whoever was responsible for the attacks, WTVD said. A $75,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, gunfire shut down two substations, beginning at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, and cascading power failures knocked out virtually all the power in the county, leaving residents in the dark and cold and businesses, particularly restaurants and groceries, losing money by the hour as equipment shut down.

At the height of the outage, more than 40,000 Duke Energy and Randolph Electric Membership Corporation customers — nearly the entire county — lost power.

Investigators told WTVD they found shell casings at the two substations, and a law enforcement source said that federal search warrants have been filed. It’s unclear if they’ve been executed.

ABC News reported that federal agents are investigating other reports of power grid sabotage, most recently an attack at the Wateree Hydro Station in Ridgeway, South Carolina. Sources said in that case, a gunman with a rifle opened fire but caused no real damage before speeding away.

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[Featured image: Workers work on equipment at the West End Substation, at 6910 NC Hwy 211 in West End, N.C., Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, where a serious attack on critical infrastructure has caused a power outage to many around Southern Pines, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)]