MarShawn McCarrel, a Black Lives Matter activist, shot himself on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse on Monday night. According to his relatives, the “emotionally draining work” he was doing had taken a big toll on the 23-year-old.
What appears to be a suicide note was posted to Facebook by MarShawn McCarrel just hours before he committed suicide on the Ohio Statehouse steps.
“My demons won today. I’m sorry,” McCarrel’s status update read.
He also tweeted one final time before shooting himself.
The tweet said, “Let the record show that I p****dd on the state house before I left.”
Black Lives Matter activist fatally shoots himself outside the Ohio Statehouse https://t.co/kGrj4hAHR2 pic.twitter.com/KR0wsy4n2x
— Fusion (@ThisIsFusion) February 9, 2016
There were no witnesses to the MarShawn McCarrel suicide in Columbus. The Black Lives Matter activist who attended the NAACP Image Awards last Friday was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the New York Daily News.
McCarrel was named a Hometown Champion by Radio One. The champions awards are given to volunteers and activists. A trip to California to the award’s ceremony was part of the prize. The experience of being homeless for three months after graduating from high school reportedly inspired his activism and charity work.
Here’s an excerpt from the Radio One Hometown Champions MarShawn McCarrel nomination page.
“He is selfless and will give his last in order to make sure others don’t go without. MarShawn has come so far in life and has inspired so many people to help others. When MarShawn got back on his feet, he felt the need to give back because so many people helped him when he was down. MarShawn stresses the importance of having conversations with the people we feed because they’ll get hungry in 2 hours but a good conversation will carry them over for a lifetime.”
— #ICJStreamTeam (@SMoKeeGyRL) February 9, 2016
The mother of the Black Lives Matter activist, Leatha Wellington, and MarShawn’s twin brother, MarQuan McCarrel, shared details about the activist’s life with the Columbus Dispatch. The family members said that McCarrel always put his “causes” before himself. They also stated a belief that the constant and emotional nature of his activism left him both physically and mentally exhausted to a degree which they did not realize.
— ANONMilitantNegro❌™ (@MrNegroMilitant) February 9, 2016
“He impacted so many people, touched so many lives,” the grieving mother said. “He was just so creative. He just wanted to serve people.”
MarShawn McCarrel worked with Black Lives Matter to organize Ohio protests in response to the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson in 2014. He also created the Pursuing Our Dreams youth mentoring program and the Feed the Streets project to provide food to the homeless.
During an interview with 614 Columbus, McCarrel discussed his Feed the Streets project.
“That’s a human being. That’s a pulse. We’re feeding everyone, we’re sending the message — today I got you; tomorrow, I could be right there,” MarShawn said.
It is not known why he was homeless after graduating high school. He called being without a place to live for several months a “humbling” experience. McCarrel said that he had to be “broken” to realize what “genuine happiness” is.
“I realized an important thing: I don’t need anything to be happy. I mean, it changed everything,” the Black Lives Matter activist added during the interview.
He went on to maintain that happiness is working together to build community relationships. He said that the Pursuing Our Dreams project sponsored youth mentoring opportunities at recreation centers. The programs were reportedly geared to helping the youth find an area where they focus on their individual talents.
[Image via Shutterstock.com]