The Republican Party headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina, was firebombed and vandalized by unknown individuals overnight. According to Fox News, citing local news outlet WNCN, the act of vandalism happened at the headquarters building located on 347 Ja-Max Drive in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Officials from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office have launched an investigation into the incident as of Sunday afternoon. According to initial reports, the building was defaced with graffiti that read "Nazi Republicans leave town or else." Police officials also confirmed that some "flammable material" was thrown through a window and that it resulted in a fire inside the building. Incidentally, similar graffiti was also discovered on 353 Ja-Max Drive -- except this one also included the image of a swastika. Both the instances of vandalism were discovered at around 9 a.m., local time by a local business owner. Describing their initial findings following an investigation, a senior police officer said the following.
"The flammable substance appears to have ignited inside the building, burned some furniture and damaged the building's interior before going out. The substance was housed in a bottle thrown through one of the building's front windows."Authorities have since then confirmed that no person was injured in the attack and that as of now, no estimates of the damage caused are available. Officials are also working with the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to investigate the incident.Meanwhile, the North Carolina Republican Party, on Sunday, released a statement condemning the attack. It described the incident as a hate crime while adding that the incident would only mean an increase in security at its events and other offices henceforth.
"A North Carolina Republican Party office in Orange County was firebombed overnight, causing major damage and destruction. Thankfully, there was no loss of life. The explosive device was thrown through the window of the office, and the words, 'Nazi Republicans, leave town or else,' were painted on a nearby building. The news comes less than 25 days before Election Day, as dedicated NCGOP volunteers and activists are canvassing the state and spending long hours getting out the vote and exercising their rights in a free and open democratic society."The statement also urged people to unanimously condemn the incident irrespective of their political leanings.
"Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, all Americans should be outraged by this hate-filled and violent attack against our democracy."Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party also a released a statement following the incident.
"Whether the bomb was meant to kill, destroy property, or intimidate voters, everyone in this country should be free to express their political viewpoints without fear for their own safety. We will be requesting additional security at all Republican Party offices and events between now and Election Day to ensure the safety of our activists, volunteers, and supporters."The Facebook post by the Republican Party page also contained photographs of the badly burned headquarters.
Responding to the news of the attack, Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens described the incident as a hugely disturbing act.
"This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property; it willfully threatens our community's safety via fire, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation. I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of people who make Hillsborough their home: Acts like this have no place in our community. Our law enforcement officials are responding quickly and thoroughly to investigate this reprehensible act and prosecute the perpetrators."In case you have any information regarding this incident, officials have requested to contact Investigator Jon Purvis by email or by phone at 919-732-9381, ext. 37.
[Featured Image by North Carolina Republican Party/FaceBook]