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Shooting kills two at Kodiak Island station

KODIAK, Alaska — Two Coast Guard members were fatally shot at a communications station on an island off Alaska, officials said today.

Officials said it remained unclear if the deaths at the Coast Guard Station on Kodiak Island were a double homicide or a murder-suicide. Capt. Jesse Moore said it was “possible that the suspect remains at large.”

The communications station has 59 staff members, and people who want to enter must show identification, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen.

“They do have secure front doors,” she said.

The station serves as the “ears in the sky” for radio transmissions from mariners and aircraft, Hengen said, and is responsible for relaying distress calls to the air station of the Coast Guard in Anchorage.

There is a commanding officer and enlisted and civilian personnel at the station, which is about eight miles from the island’s largest city of Kodiak, Hengen said.

Officials said the base and nearby schools were on lockdown. Moore told the city’s 6,300 or so residents “to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials” until more details emerge.

The Guard said the identities of the victims would be released after family members were notified. They did not yet know whether the shootings took place Wednesday or earlier today.

The FBI said agents were headed to Kodiak from Anchorage about 250 miles away.

Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, the commander of Coast Guard operations in Alaska, was in New London, Conn., for a conference at the Coast Guard Academy but left ahead of schedule and could not be reached for comment, according to academy spokesman David Santos. The two-day conference on leadership for the Arctic began earlier Thursday.

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