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2 shot dead at Coast Guard station in Kodiak, Alaska

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times –

SEATTLE— Two U.S. Coast Guard members have been shot to death at a communications station in Kodiak, Alaska, and officials have placed the large base and nearby schools on lockdown pending a determination of whether a third person was involved.

Officials said they’re also investigating the possibility of a murder-suicide.

“It is possible that the suspect remains at large,” Capt. Jesse Moore, commander of Coast Guard Base Support Unit Kodiak, said in a statement. “Since we don’t have all the details, we strongly advise that all Kodiak residents … remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials.”

The dead Coast Guard members were employed at a communications station about three miles north of the main base on Kodiak Island in southeast Alaska.

The main facility, the largest U.S. Coast Guard base in the world, acts as a center of operations for search and rescue operations throughout the Far North. The communications satellite handles radio traffic for those operations and coordinates communications between Coast Guard vessels, Petty Officer Grant DeVuyst said.

“It’s primarily a support unit. They’re not an operational unit,” DeVuyst said in an interview.

He said authorities would have no additional information, including identification of the victims, until the investigation progresses further and families are notified. FBI agents were en route to the scene.

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

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