Rocker's Death Ruled a Suicide Keith Emerson shot himself in the head: autopsy By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Mar 16, 2016 9:00 AM CDT 20 comments Comments Keith Emerson is seen in 2015. (Paul A. Hebert) (Newser) – A Los Angeles coroner's official says the death of Keith Emerson, keyboardist and co-founder of the seminal progressive rock group Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, has been ruled a suicide. The determination was made after an autopsy showed Emerson shot himself in the head, the official tells the AP. He says there were also signs the 71-year-old had a heart condition. Emerson's body was found early Friday by his longtime partner. Authorities suspected Emerson shot himself, but the determination did not become official until after the autopsy.