HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The FBI is investigating whether the fire-bombing of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough during the lead-up to last year’s election is tied to 2015 vandalism that targeted an activist’s vehicle in nearby Carrboro.
The FBI on Monday released photographs of graffiti sprayed on the GOP headquarters during the firebombing attack and graffiti sprayed on the activist’s minivan.
In the Hillsborough incident, “NAZI REPUBLICANS LEAVE TOWN OR ELSE,” was written on the building, along with a swastika. The minivan had “GET OUT” scrawled down the side. In both cases, the graffiti’s author used looping Es.
The photograph of the Carrboro damage also shows broken windows on the minivan. In Hillsborough, the FBI says, “Molotov cocktail type devices were thrown through the front window of the building.”
Investigators have focused on a vehicle that was captured on camera driving north on North Carolina Highway 86 under Interstate 85, then turning into the Daniel Boon shopping center, avoiding open businesses and heading toward the GOP office. That’s consistent with when witnesses have said the fire likely started, according to the FBI.
Investigators are asking anyone who saw a car traveling in the area early that morning to call the FBI’s Charlotte office at (704) 672-6100 and selecting option two.
A $10,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Also on Monday, Orange County Republican Party officials showed off their newly-renovated headquarters.
“We are here to protect the rights and opportunities for everybody. Violence of this or any other nature is unacceptable to anybody anywhere,” said Robin Hayes, chair of the North Carolina Republican Party.