Authorities have announced a mandatory curfew in a North Carolina county where around 40,000 customers lost power after two power substations were damaged by gunfire Saturday night, CNN reports.
The county will implement a mandatory curfew from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., starting Sunday night, Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said at a news conference Sunday.
Municipality and county officials “have formed a plan for the night and the next few nights that we may be out of power. It’s a very serious situation,” Fields said. “So we’ve come to an agreement to best protect our citizens and to protect the businesses of our county, we’re going to implement a curfew tonight.”
A state of emergency went into effect at 4 p.m. Sunday as law enforcement, city and energy officials are investigating the incident and working to restore the two substations, authorities said. Law enforcement has also been providing security for the stations, according to the sheriff.
The power outage is being investigated as a “criminal occurrence” after crews found signs of potential vandalism at several locations, CNN previously reported.
Fields said multiple rounds were fired at the two substations. “It was targeted, it wasn’t random,” he said.
No suspects have been identified in connection with the incident. Fields would not say if the criminal activity was domestic terrorism.
“The person, or persons, who did this knew exactly what they were doing,” Fields said. “We don’t have a clue why Moore County.”
Fields acknowledged a woman who posted on Facebook Sunday morning indicating she had been questioned by law enforcement in connection with the incident. Fields did not name the woman, but said she posted false information on social media claiming to have information behind the incident.
“We don’t have anything,” Fields said, when asked about a possible motive. “No motivation, no group has stepped up to acknowledge or accept they’re the ones who [did] it.”