A Black Lives Matter activist shot himself on the steps of an Ohio Statehouse Monday night.
The Columbus Dispatch learned from Ohio Highway Patrol officers that MarShawn M. McCarrel II, 23, shot himself outside the front door of the Statehouse. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Lt. Craig Cvetan. McCarrel was from the Columbus suburb of Franklin Township and not a state employee.
It’s unclear why the Black Lives Matter activist killed himself so violently in a public place. Cvetan says police don’t have any answers at this time.
Authorities say no witnesses were around when McCarrel shot himself. He was seen on the Statehouse grounds before pulling the trigger on himself, however.
A few hours before MarShawn M. McCarrel took his own life, he posted a message on his Facebook page.
“My demons won today. I’m sorry,” he wrote.
The Black Lives Matter activist’s last tweet read, “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before I left.”
According to The Columbus Dispatch, authorities were called just after 6 p.m. to a shooting that occurred on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse where the entrance to the building was located on the S. High Street side. The report mentions that McCarrel lived on Eastbrook Drive North in Franklin Township.
McCarrel helped to organize protests in Ohio after 18-year-old African-American, Michael Brown, was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. McCarrel also worked with Black Lives Matter, according to the New York Daily News. In addition to those activities, he founded an organization called Pursuing Our Dreams, which led to Feed the Streets, a project to help Ohio’s homeless population.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 9, 2016
The activist attended the NAACP’s Image Awards on Friday, according to the Pursuing Our Dreams Facebook page.
McCarrel was also named one of Radio One’s Hometown Champions for his community activism.
The nomination page for the award read about McCarrel, “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.”
The award’s statement continued that McCarrel was homeless for three months after he graduated from high school. It was one of those life experiences which had a profound impact on the young man. It inspired him to help others. Since so many people helped him when he was down, he wanted to give back in some way. The Black Lives Matter activist also felt it was important to have conversations with people the community feeds because “they’ll get hungry in 2 hours but a good conversation will carry them over for a lifetime.”
“All everyone needs is love,” McCarrel told 614 Columbus in 2014 — referencing his work in Feed the Streets. “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.”
It’s a mystery as to why someone with so much drive and determination to help those in need would give up like MarShaw M. McCarrel did. He did a lot of work in trying to make a difference and was inspired by his own hardships to make a difference. It’s a sad day for those who looked up to the Black Lives Matter and community activist.
[Photo Credit: MarShawn M. McCarrel II/Facebook]