A prominent activist in Ohio from the Black Lives Matter movement has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
MarShawn M. McCarrel II had reportedly shot himself right at the steps outside the front door of the Statehouse on the S. High Street side. According to a report from The Columbus Dispatch, authorities were called to the area after 6 p.m. regarding a shooting.
According to Lt. Craig Cvetan of the State Highway Patrol, the 23-year-old activist was pronounced dead at the scene. No evidence or reason has been found as to why McCarrel had taken his own life. Following the incident, S. High Street was briefly shut down. Meanwhile, the sidewalk at the front of the Statehouse and the COTA bus stop have been closed down for investigation.
McCarrel was residing in Eastbrook Drive North in Franklin Township. Following his death, his family and friends have gathered in Dodge Park for a candlelight vigil. Around 200 attendees came. Ohio Student Association organizer Molly Shack told The Columbus Dispatch that McCarrel’s loss is profound. “Shawn made an incredible impact and was such a light for literally thousands of people,” she said. Meanwhile, his twin brother MarQuan remembers him as a creative soul while his mother, Leatha Wellington, said that her son had been expressing himself through writing since his elementary days.
The young McCarrel, however, may have been dealing with a lot lately. Just before he took his own life, he posted a cryptic message on his Facebook page saying, “My demons won today. I’m sorry.” At the same time, he posted a message on Twitter saying, “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before i left.”
Shack believes that McCarrel felt bad about the situation being “so hard” for people his movement has been fighting for. “I have to imagine that burden weighed a lot on him,” she said.