U.S. Airman Master Sgt. Nicholas Van Pelt, a 41-year-old member of the North Dakota National Guard’s 119th Wing, was shot and killed on Christmas Eve in Minot. His residence in southwest Minot was the scene of the gunshot that occurred at about 8:45 p.m. on December 24.
In 2001, Van Pelt—a native of Ringold, Georgia—enlisted in the Air Force. Joining the North Dakota Air National Guard in 2009, he was stationed at Minot Air Force Base with the 219th Security Forces Squadron.
Before committing full-time to the 219th, Van Pelt was a deputy for the Ward County sheriff’s office until May of 2023. Van Pelt was a buddy to many in the department, according to Ward County Sheriff Bob Roed. He served with their agency for five years.
He leaves behind his parents and three children. On Wednesday afternoon, Minot hosted a march to honor him. Fifty individuals, some waving American flags, stood and watched the funeral home procession in solidarity of the Van Pelt family.
“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.”
“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.” Daniel Breijo, 39, of Surrey, was apprehended by the Minot Police Department in connection with the shooting.
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