Black Lives Matter Activist MarShawn McCarrel Has Died

Black Lives Matter Activist MarShawn McCarrel Has Died

The 23-year-old took his own life after making a bold political statement.

Published February 9, 2016

Tragic news: MarShawn McCarrel, a prominent activist within the Black Lives Matter movement, killed himself in front of the Ohio Statehouse this Monday evening.

McCarrel, 23, shot himself just after 6 p.m. local time near the Statehouse entrance. According to State Patrol Lt. Craig Cvetan, officers “don’t have any evidence to know the reason why he did it,” but McCarrel’s final social media posts paint a portrait of a young man exhausted by the uphill struggle for justice.

Just hours before his suicide, McCarrel took to his personal Facebook page to pen a final message to his friends and family:

My demons won today. I'm sorry.

Posted by MarShawn McCarrel on Monday, February 8, 2016

He also tweeted several ominous messages, including a final one about making a bold political statement before ending it all:

McCarrel’s mother Leatha Wellington tells the Columbus Dispatch that activism against police brutality and racism left the young man mentally and physically damaged. “He impacted so many people, touched so many lives,” his mother said. “He just wanted to serve people,” his brother, MarQuan, added.

McCarrel was incredibly passionate about giving back to those who had helped him when he struggled through months of homelessness following graduating High school. He helped organize protests in his home state of Ohio following the cop killing of Michael Brown. He continued to give back to his community by founding the youth program Pursuing Our Dreams, which started the Feed the Streets project, aimed at assisting Ohio’s homeless community.

Last Friday, McCarrel attended the NAACP Image Awards along with his mother after being named one of Ohio’s Radio One’s Hometown Champions, an award which recognizes “community advocates, volunteers, and activists who exemplify the spirit of the Image Awards daily in their communities.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with MarShawn's family and all those whose lives he touched.

(Photo: Marshawn McCarrel via Facebook)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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