Coast Guard identifies 2 who perished in Kodiak double homicide

Jill Burke

Investigators remain mum about the killings Thursday of an electronics technician and a civilian employee at the US Coast Guard station in Kodiak. A day after the deaths were discovered, the FBI will say only that they consider the deaths of Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and Richard Belisle, a retired Coast Guard chief petty officer working at the site as a civilian employee, a double homicide.

The statement appears to rule out early speculation that the killings may have been the result of a murder suicide.

"As an organization with roots in saving lives and a focus on protecting people, this tragic event has shocked us all," said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, 17th Coast Guard District, in a prepared statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with the victim's families, their loved ones, and the entire Kodiak community."

The Coast Guard Investigative Service, Kodiak Police Department and Alaska State Troopers are assisting the FBI in the search for the shooter.

The Kodiak School District learned of the shootings shortly after noon on Thursday and kept students indoors the rest of the day as the district and the base went on lockdown.

"We are deeply saddened that we lost two shipmates," said Moore. "This is a rare occurrence and we are going to do everything possible to ensure we find out exactly what happened.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our lost shipmates and we will provide all the necessary support and guidance they need as they grieve their loved ones," said Moore.

The station where the shooting occurred aids in long-range communications, including the relaying of Mayday calls from vessels in the Bering Sea.