- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Bush's nominee to be secretary of the Navy, oil executive Colin McMillan,
died on Thursday of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, the New Mexico
medical examiners offices said.
- McMillan, 67, died at his ranch in southern New Mexico.
- "The manner of death was suicide," said Tim
Stepetic, associate director of New Mexico's Office of the Medical Investigator.
"Mr. McMillan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head."
Scot Key, a state district attorney in Alamogordo, New Mexico, said his
office was looking into reports that McMillan may have had a recurrence
of cancer. A spokesman for McMillan's family said the nominee had been
treated for cancer of the jaw.
- Bush sent "condolences and prayers" to McMillan's
family and friends. "Colin was a public servant and patriot who served
his country and state," the president said in a statement.
- New Mexico's senior senator, Republican Pete Domenici,
a longtime friend of McMillan, paid tribute to him in remarks on the floor
of the Senate and in a subsequent statement.
- "This is one that you would never believe, even
when you are told it's true," Domenici said of McMillan's death.
- "He will be missed by so many people. He leaves
us at a relatively young age; his successes are many," Domenici said.
- Bush nominated McMillan on May 7 to replace Gordon England,
who stepped down as Navy secretary in January to become deputy secretary
of the new Department of Homeland Security.
- McMillan was chairman of Permian Exploration Corp., which
specializes in oil and gas exploration. In 1990, he was appointed by Bush's
father, then-President George Bush, to serve as assistant secretary of
defense, a position he held until 1992.
- A funeral is set for Monday in Roswell, said Roswell
Mayor Bill Owen, who is also a spokesman for the McMillan family.
- "It is a difficult time and the family will have
many difficult days and weeks and months ahead," Owen said.
- (With additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Dallas)
- Ms. Jean Isachenko, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com