Longtime police officer dead at age 50 | AspenTimes.com

Longtime police officer dead at age 50

Tim Mutrie

A former Pitkin County and Snowmass Village police officer died Monday outside his home, the result of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

Michael J. “Mike” Keeffe, 50, of Glenwood Springs, was pronounced dead at his Midland Avenue residence shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday, according to Trey Holt, Garfield County coroner.

“This does have consistencies with a suicide, but all that’s preliminary and it’s still being handled as a death investigation,” said Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson. Wilson said an autopsy scheduled for yesterday afternoon would help authorities make a final determination.

“These things are tragic,” said Snowmass Village Police Chief Art Smythe. “Mike made a lot of friends when he worked here in the village, and they’re going to be sorry to hear this; certainly we were.”

Keeffe worked as a policeman in Snowmass Village for seven years, Smythe said, from October 1989 through November 1996. Keeffe was a deputy with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office for a similar period of time earlier in his career, according to Sheriff Bob Braudis.

Braudis said yesterday he was distressed to hear the news about Keeffe, a man whom he ran against for sheriff in 1990.

Keeffe was born in Milwaukee, though he grew up and graduated from high school in Wausau, Wis., Keeffe’s brother Kevin said yesterday.

In the mid-1970s, when Keeffe was in his early 20s, he moved to Aspen and lived for many years at Aspen Village.

Kevin Keeffe said his brother moved to Glenwood Springs about three years ago, where he worked at the hot springs, which was also one of his favorite places to spend time in the valley.

“He was in a bad way lately,” Kevin said.

According to Kevin, a memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Mary of the Crown Catholic Church in Carbondale.

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