Police in Hillsborough, North Carolina, are investigating a firebombing that took place at the Orange County Republican headquarters. Authorities say a bottle of flammable liquid was thrown at the front window of the GOP office sometime during the night. A swastika was painted on the side of the building, accompanied by the line: “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else.”
One GOP official has called the incident an act of “political terrorism,” according to the Charlotte Observer.
“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,” said Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens in a statement.
“I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of people who make Hillsborough their home: Acts like this have no place in our community,” he added. “Our law enforcement officials are responding quickly and thoroughly to investigate this reprehensible act and prosecute the perpetrators.”
The town of Hillsborough also issued a statement, detailing what authorities know so far. It reads in part:
The building, located at 347 Ja-Max Drive in the Shops at Daniel Boone, was struck overnight with graffiti and with a flammable material thrown through a front window of the headquarters. The graffiti — which included a swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” — was spray-painted in black on the side of an adjacent building, Balloons Above Orange, 353 Ja-Max Drive. The damage was discovered this morning by another business owner, who reported it before 9 a.m.
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. No damage estimates are available yet, and Hillsborough police are continuing to investigate the incident with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Police have not released any specifics about a possible motive for the attack. The investigation is still active as state and local officials track down potential suspects. No one was injured or killed during the firebombing.
North Carolina is a key battleground state in this election. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have worked tirelessly to swing the state their way in November.