A Secret Service agent died on Sunday in Maine while training at a compound belonging to the Bush family, Fox News reported.
According to the network, 50-year-old Keith Mills joined the Secret Service in 2002 and had been responsible for protecting the late former President George H.W. Bush as well as former President George W. Bush and their families. Before joining the Secret Service, Mills had a long career in law enforcement, serving as a corrections officer and later as a police patrolman and sergeant.
The Press Herald reported that Mill’s passing has been classified as a death in the line of duty.
Although an autopsy has been performed on the deceased federal agent, no official cause of death has yet been released to the public.
Statement from President Bush
“Laura and I were saddened by the sudden loss of Keith Mills,” former President Bush said in a statement.
Bush offered words of praise for Mills, hailing him as “a dedicated public servant and exemplary member of the United States Secret Service.”
“My family had the good fortune of knowing Keith well, and now our thoughts are with Keith’s family – particularly his children. We join them in mourning the loss of a kind, funny, patriotic man,” he said.
“Selfless” and “dedicated”
Paul H. Maurer, a special agent in charge of the George W. Bush Protective Division, also spoke highly of his fallen colleague.
“Special Officer Keith Mills will always be remembered as a kind, selfless and dedicated friend to his Secret Service colleagues,” Maurer said. “Keith’s life of service and the legacy of his law enforcement career will not be forgotten.”
The former chief of staff of President George H.W. Bush’s administration, Jean Becker, also had warm words for the late Mills.
“The Secret Service were so integral to the Bushes,” Becker recalled. “Good grief, Mrs. Bush ran a bed-and-breakfast at Walker’s Point.”
“There were always people coming and going. They entertained a lot. Honestly, it was wild. People like Keith Mills and the other officers were the ones that helped keep it all sane. Keith was a big part of that,” she added.