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Police tight-lipped on Alaska Coast Guard deaths

Police warn Alaska island residents to be vigilant; no suspect ID'd in 2 Coast Guard killings By The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ' Alaska State Troopers say the island community of Kodiak does not appear to be in danger, but they're asking residents to be vigilant while authorities try to determine who shot and killed two Coast Guard members at a communications station.

With no one in custody more than 24 hours after the killings, law enforcement officials on Friday were being tight-lipped about the situation.

The FBI, the Coast Guard and the Alaska State Troopers were involved in the investigation, but Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters declined to provide information about the agency's involvement.



There was "no evidence to suggest that the community at large is in danger," Peters said. But, she said, "People should remain vigilant in being aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement or state troopers."

The bodies were found Thursday morning shortly after the two victims would have arrived for work at the Kodiak Island station, which monitors radio traffic from ships and planes. Their identities were expected to be released later Friday.

Another Coast Guard member found the victims at their work areas inside the station, spokeswoman Sara Francis said. FBI agents flew to Kodiak Island from Anchorage, about 250 miles away.

"There is no evidence to suggest this is anything but a double homicide," said FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez.

The station is composed of a main building and several other buildings. Francis declined to say exactly where the killings occurred, citing Coast Guard policy about discussing ongoing investigations. The Kodiak Daily Mirror newspaper said the bodies were found inside one of the station's work buildings.

Authorities have not released the identity of any suspects.

A Coast Guard official said the base remained on heightened security Friday. Military police were making more frequent drives around neighboring Peterson Elementary School and "keeping us on watch for the day," school secretary Cathy Wilson said.

There were numerous absences Friday at the school, but it was unclear how many were due to illness or the shootings, Wilson said.

Capt. Jesse Moore, commanding officer of the base on Kodiak, was to meet Friday with base personnel to discuss the shootings, said Petty Officer Chary Hengen.

"There is a sense of deep sadness here, not only in the town but at the Coast Guard base," she said. "A lot of us are not related to each other but we treat each other like a family."

The base is about eight miles from Kodiak, which has about 6,300 residents and is the island's largest city.

Moore said the shootings likely occurred sometime between 7 and 8 a.m. He said he wasn't aware of any threats or anything else that might have indicated problems at the station.

The station is equipped with security cameras that cover the entire area, but it was not yet known if they captured any evidence, Moore said.

Francis said the rest of the roughly 60 enlisted personnel and civilians who work at the station have been accounted for.


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Related Keywords:Coast Guard-Shooting,Violent crime,Crime,General news

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