SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Coast Guard mourns loss of 2 shipmates, FBI leading investigation


April 14, 2012

(SitNews) Kodiak, Alaska - The Coast Guard Investigative Service continues to work with FBI, Alaska State Troopers and the Kodiak Police Department to investigate the shooting deaths of two Coast Guard employees that occurred Thursday at Coast Guard Communication Station Kodiak.

The Coast Guard has been informed by the FBI that they are treating this investigation as a double homicide. There is no evidence to suggest these deaths are the result of a murder suicide. No arrests have been made and all Kodiak residents are advised to continue to use reasonable safety precautions and to report any suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency.

The victims have been identified as Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, an electronics technician, and Richard Belisle, a civilian employee and retired Coast Guard chief petty officer.

In a prepared statement U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said, “My thoughts, concerns and prayers are with the Belisle and Hopkins families – as well as the entire Kodiak community – as the Alaskans there cope with the shock of the shooting of two Coast Guard members. Alaska’s resilient and resourceful guardians are deeply committed to our state, our waters and one another.  A loss to their forces is a loss to us all."

 “Kodiak’s military and civilians are a close-knit family, and I have no doubt that the entire island will provide abundant help and support to the families impacted by this tragedy. I am also fully confident that our local, state and federal law enforcement will work together to help bring closure to the community, and the suspect to justice," said Murkowski.

"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."My thoughts and prayers are with the victim's families, their loved ones, and the entire Kodiak community."

"Our Coast Guard team from across the nation has been extremely supportive and we have sent a number of crisis response personnel and resources to Kodiak to assist the victim's families, friends and coworkers as they cope with this tragedy," said Ostebo.

"We are deeply saddened that we lost two shipmates," said Capt. Jesse Moore, commanding officer, Coast Guard Base Support Unit Kodiak. "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.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Source of News: 

United States Coast Guard

Office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski


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