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FBI mum on Kodiak Coast Guard shooting deaths

By Dan Joling

Associated Press

Published: Monday, April 16 2012 5:21 p.m. MDT

This July 2, 2011 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows Richard Belisle, second from left, and Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, second from right, are seen with Jim Wells, left, and Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody Beauford as they help erect a communications antenna on Shemya Island, Alaska. After more than 24 hours, no suspect has been identified after someone shot to death the two men at a Coast Guard communications station on Kodiak Island off Alaska's mainland .

U.S. Coast Guard, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Four days after two men were gunned down at a Coast Guard air station on Kodiak Island, the FBI is releasing few details of the investigation other that reassurances that the adjacent community is not in danger.

"There's very little we can say about the investigation, trying to maintain the integrity of the investigation," said spokesman Eric Gonzalez in Anchorage. "We're not in a position where we can disclose more."

The FBI is the lead investigative agency in the deaths Thursday of Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins, 41, an electronics technician from Vergennes, Vt., and Richard Belisle, 51, a former chief petty officer who continued service to the Coast Guard as a civilian employee.

Another worker found their bodies shortly after their shifts began at the station, which monitors radio traffic from ships and planes.

The Coast Guard has not revealed where they were found, but radio station KMXT in Kodiak reported that the men were working in a structure known as the "rigging building."

Gonzalez said there is no indication the homicides were related to terrorism, and he was not aware of anything in the building that would be the target of thieves. Gonzales said he couldn't comment on whether the men were targeted or the victims of a random shooting, or whether investigators have recovered a weapon.

"We're not disclosing evidence in the case, the evidence we've collected," he said.

He also would not elaborate on why officials believe the 6,300 residents of Kodiak are not directly threatened.

"No suspect is in custody, but based on the investigation to date, there's no credible evidence that the community as a whole is in any danger," he said.

Coast Guard officials scheduled a town hall meeting for 7 p.m. Monday to discuss the homicides.

The Coast Guard plans to host a memorial service for the men at 1 p.m. Wednesday in an air station hangar.

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