North Dakota National Guard Airman killed in shooting

(Minot, ND) -- A U.S. Airman assigned to 119th Wing, North Dakota National Guard, was killed during a shooting incident Dec. 24 at approximately 8 p.m. in his home.

Master Sgt. Nicholas Van Pelt, of the 219th Security Forces Squadron, died during a shooting at his apartment in southwest Minot.

“We have lost a member of our 219th family in this tragic event and our condolences are with Nick’s family.” said Maj. Greg Goodman, 219th Security Forces Squadron commander. “We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones and remember the amazing friend and Airman that Nick was. As a flight chief, he protected our nation’s most important resources. He supported his community, his state and his country and has left a lasting impact on the 219th.”

“The entire Hooligan family is saddened by the tragic loss of one of our members.” said 119th Wing commander, Col. Mitch Johnson. “Our deepest sympathies go out to Master Sgt. Van Pelt’s family in this time of sorrow as we too mourn the loss of one of our own.”

A native of Ringold, Georgia, Van Pelt, 41, enlisted in the Air Force in 2001. He became a member of the North Dakota Air National Guard in 2009, where he served with the 219th Security Forces Squadron at Minot Air Force Base. Van Pelt served as a Ward County Sheriff’s Deputy until May of 2023, when he transitioned to serving full-time with the 219th. He is survived by his three children and parents.

“This is a tragic event that happened to Master Sgt. Nicholas Van Pelt and we extend our sympathies to his friends and family,” said Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general. “Van Pelt served his nation for more than 14 years as an Airman in the North Dakota National Guard and as a Defender in 219th Security Forces Squadron. He will always be remembered.”

The Minot Police Department has arrested a suspect in the shooting.