Coast Guard mourns loss of 2 shipmates, FBI leading investigation

17th Coast Guard District NewsJUNEAU, 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 residents are advised 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.

Petty Officer Hopkins began his service to the Nation in the U.S. Navy, before transferring into the Coast Guard in 2002. He accumulated over 20 years of active duty service and was assigned to Kodiak for the last three years. Jim is survived by his wife Debra and is the father of two adult children.

Chief Belisle was a long-time resident of Kodiak. He retired from the Coast Guard as a Boatswain Mate Chief after over 20 years of service. He was continuing to serve as a Coast Guard civilian employee. Rich is survived by his wife Nichole and is the father of three adult children.

“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.

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