Shots fired near Duke Energy power station in South Carolina


(NewsNation) — Gunshots were fired near a Duke Energy power station in Kershaw County, South Carolina Wednesday night.

No one was injured in the incident, and no outages or other damage were reported by the Wateree Hydro Station, according to NewsNation local affiliate WJZY.

Duke Energy is working closely with the FBI to investigate the incident.

It happened only days after the shootings of two North Carolina substations in Moore County knocked out power to nearly 45,000 customers. Residents lost heat, schools closed and some turned to charities for food.

One or more people drove up to two substations, breached the gates, and opened fire at 7 p.m. Saturday in North Carolina, authorities said. Officials say it was a series of coordinated attacks on power substations, but that it is too early to know the motive.

As of Thursday morning, only two customers reported power outage in Moore County, according to

State and county officials in North Carolina have now teamed up with Duke Energy to offer a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible for shooting the substations.

This ambush of substations isn’t just hitting the Carolinas, though. NewsNation obtained federal documents showing evidence of at least six other “intrusions” at Duke Energy substations in Florida. Another law enforcement memo warned of targeted attacks on power substations in other states such as Oregon and Washington, using hand tools, arson, firearms and metal chains.

These threats to infrastructure are nothing new, experts say — but they do appear to be getting more common.

“It’s definitely not a new type of threat but I think we’re seeing a level of intent to cause damage that is higher than we’ve probably seen in the past,” said Todd Keil, an associate managing director for security risk management at Kroll, who previously worked with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Duke said in a previous statement that it cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings or investigations.

“However, given the nature and scale of our operations, we – alongside federal, state and local law enforcement and security officials and industry partners – are continuously assessing and evolving our measures to protect our critical infrastructure,” the statement said. “That partnership includes helping bring anyone who damages our system to justice.”

Robin Dreeke, retired FBI special agent and head of the Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program, said law enforcement has really been looking at the cyber threats against the U.S.’ critical infrastructure and hardening themselves against them.

Because the threat in North Carolina was physical, it was “striking” and “extremely effective,” Dreeke said on NewsNation’s “Early Morning.”

“The most critical element that’s coming at us is the insider threat, as they’re starting to allude this possibly might be,” Dreeke said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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