Emerging activist MarShawn McCarrel committed suicide in front of the Ohio Statehouse Monday night, authorities said.
“My demons won today. I’m sorry,” wrote McCarrel on Facebook. According to family members, the young man took his life because “his emotionally draining work may well have taken a toll on him.” He was only 23-years-old and Lt. Craig Cvetan of the State Highway Patrol told the Columbus Dispatch that McCarrel shot himself in the head.
His final tweet showcased his personal frustration for the injustices the Ohio justice system let slip through their fingers with the non-indictment of Tamir Rice’s killers:
Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before i left.
— SPICY (@MC_CARREL11) February 8, 2016
Family members remember the great man he was and how he changed his community for the better.
“He impacted so many people, touched so many lives,” his mother Leatha Wellington said.
According to the New York Daily News, “McCarrel, who had recently worked with Black Lives Matter, helped organize protests in Ohio after a Missouri cop shot and killed unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in 2014. He also founded youth mentorship program Pursuing Our Dreams, which launched Feed the Streets, a project to help Ohio’s homeless.”
Last month, McCarrel was recognized for his community activism when he was named one of Radio One’s Hometown Champions, an award for community activists and volunteers. This past Friday he took his mom to the ceremony in California to be honored.
“He is selfless and will give his last in order to make sure others don’t go without,” read a nomination page for the Hometown Champions Award. “MarShawn has come so far in life and has inspired so many people to help others.”