The FBI has joined the investigation into what police believe were intentional attacks on two electric substations in North Carolina that resulted in a massive blackout.
“The person, or persons, who did this knew exactly what they were doing,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday, according to CNN. “We don’t have a clue why Moore County.”
Fields said multiple rounds of gunshots were fired at two substations, leading to a blackout that began Saturday night.
“It was targeted, it wasn’t random,” he said
More than 33,000 customers were still without power on Monday morning, according to The News & Observer in Raleigh.
“We are looking at a pretty sophisticated repair with some fairly large equipment and so we do want citizens of the town to be prepared that this will be a multiday restoration for most customers, extending potentially as long as Thursday,” Brooks said Sunday.
“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,” Gov. Roy Cooper said on Twitter.
Moore County has strong, vibrant communities and the state will continue to provide transportation and public safety assistance. – RC (3/3)
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) December 4, 2022
Fields said that “no group has stepped up to acknowledge or accept they’re the ones who [did] it.”
“We faced something last night in Moore County that we’ve never faced before,” Fields said. “I promise you that the perpetrators out there…we will find them.”
With no suspects or motive announced, the FBI is joining the investigation into power outages in a North Carolina county believed to have been caused by “targeted” attacks on substations, prompting a curfew and emergency declaration. https://t.co/5oFAeiULjS
— CNN (@CNN) December 5, 2022
A curfew has been imposed, and schools were closed in the area on Monday.
“This was a terrible act. And it appears to be an intentional, willful and malicious act,” Republican state Sen. Tom McInnis said.
Since 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been working to upgrade protection for large power substations, but not smaller ones.
The “Downtown Divas” event started at 7 p.m., according to The Charlotte Observer. After the power went out, it continued until about 9 p.m. the Observer reported.
One of the organizers of protests against the drag show, Emily Grace Rainey, published a post to her Facebook page after the outage began that said, “The power is out in Moore County and I know why.”
She posted a second statement with a picture of the exterior of the darkened theater stating, “God will not be mocked.”
A third post said Rainey had been visited by law enforcement.
“The Moore County Sheriff’s Office just checked in,” she said. “I welcomed them to my home.
“Sorry they wasted their time. I told them that God works in mysterious ways and is responsible for the outage. I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters.
“God is chastising Moore County. I thanked them for coming and wished them a good night. Thankful for the LEOs service, as always.”
According to The N&O, Fields said of Rainey during a Sunday night news conference, “We had to go and interview this young lady and have a word of prayer with her … but it turned out to be nothing.”
Asked if the attack on the substations had any connection to the drag show, Fields said: “Is it possible? Yes. Anything is possible, but we’ve not been able to tie anything back to the drag show.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.