Skip to content

FBI looking for any ties between power facility shootings in North, South Carolina


The FBI is analyzing shell casings found near power facilities in North Carolina and South Carolina, a law enforcement memo revealed Friday, after North Carolina gunfire led to nearly 96 hours of darkness in one county.

The “target attacks” at two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, North Carolina on Saturday night knocked out power to 45,000 homes and businesses before local electricity was restored Wednesday night.

And as the last of those darkened lights were coming on, shots were fired near Duke Energy’s Wateree Hydro Station in Ridgeway, South Carolina, about 130 miles south of Moore County, officials said.

A man hanging out of the passenger side of a hatchback opened fire with a rifle a little after 4:30 p.m., witnesses told Kershaw County Sheriff’s deputies.

The gunfire happened about a half-mile from the hydro station and Sheriff Lee Boan said Thursday there’s no immediately evidence the gunman was aiming at the power provider.

“I currently have no reason to believe this shooting incident has anything to do with an attack on the hydro station,” Sheriff Boan said. “As of right now, I’m just not seeing the connection between the two.”

No one lost power in the South Carolina shootings.

So far there’s no indication whether the North Carolina attacks have any connection to Wednesday night’s gunfire in South Carolina, according to a law enforcement memo reviewed by NBC News.

Authorities haven’t publicly disclosed any possible motive for the North Carolina shooting. But investigators are sifting through a host of online conspiracy theories to determine if that might’ve played any motive in the attacks, two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told NBC News.

A prevailing theory that took hold on social media was that the outages were intended to shut down a drag performance at a theater in downtown Southern Pines, N.C. Other potential motives, such as a disgruntled current or former employee, have not been dismissed.

David K. Li contributed.