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Shooting in Kodiak leaves one dead

Ben Anderson
Loren Holmes photo

Alaska State Troopers report that one man is dead following an early-morning shooting Saturday in Kodiak, a community of about 6,000 on a large island in the Gulf of Alaska. It is the second deadly shooting in the city in three months, following a double homicide in April that left two Coast Guardsmen dead.

According to Tim DeSpain, public information officer with the troopers, the shooting was reported shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday. Justen Nixon, 28, was killed. DeSpain said he wasn't aware of any other serious injuries. 

According to a trooper dispatch, officers were responding to a call from a party of a disturbance that was about to happen, that escalated to include gunfire by the time they arrived. Nixon had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and was declared deceased after being transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

DeSpain said that no one had been arrested as of about noon Saturday, but officials were in contact with those involved in the shooting. Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, the Alaska State Troopers' major crime investigation unit, was on its way to take the lead in the case. DeSpain said that troopers weren't actively searching for anyone.

"The parties that were involved in the shooting are all cooperating currently," DeSpain said. "They don’t have anyone in custody, but they’re not looking for anyone, either."

Nixon's body will be examined by the state medical examiner.

DeSpain said that he also wasn't aware of any ties to the shooting in April that left retired Coast Guardsman Rich Belisle and active-duty James Hopkins dead. That killing sent the community reeling, since many of the residents of the island are either active-duty or retired Coast Guard members. Authorities asked for the public's help in tracking down the weapon or weapons that may have been used in the murder.

As of June 12, two months after the killing, the FBI said that there was nothing new to report in that investigation. There still have been no arrests made in that case.

Contact Ben Anderson at ben(at)alaskadispatch.com