The mayor of Hyattsville, a DC suburb in Maryland, died by suicide on Tuesday.
In a statement about his death, the city announced that Mayor Kevin Ward, 44, died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward passed away yesterday, January 25, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mayor Ward was a valued and trusted leader and a fierce advocate for all the people of Hyattsville. We are heartbroken at this loss and extend our deepest sympathy to his family,” a message posted to the city’s website stated.
His body was reportedly found in Fort Marcy Park in McLean, VA.
Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward has passed. I last saw him as he worked to expand vaccine availability and create more affordable housing in his community. https://t.co/HhIWlP1ZuR
— Brad Bell (@Brad7News) January 26, 2022
The city’s statement asked that his family be granted privacy at this time. He is survived by his husband and two adopted sons.
“The City knows that Mayor Ward was a well-connected member of our tight-knit community and that this is difficult news. Community members in need of grief counseling or mental health support are encouraged to contact Community Crisis Services, Inc.: dial 211 and press 1 or call 800-273-TALK; or the Affiliated Sante Group crisis support line: 301-429-2185,” the statement continued.
Ward was elected to Hyattsville City Council twice and was appointed interim mayor in 2021 before taking on the role permanently. His campaign website described him as “a husband, father, grandfather, and proud resident of Hyattsville.”
“I believe in doing the work,” he wrote on his campaign page. “I believe that if I can help someone, then I can change her or his life. This is why I dedicated my career to providing the best technology to education and human services, to help as many as I can.”
City Council Vice President Robert Croslin will now serve as interim mayor.
Governor Larry Hogan tweeted about Ward’s passing, writing “the First Lady and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward.”
The First Lady and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward.
We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Ward family and the people of Hyattsville as they grieve this tragic loss.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) January 26, 2022
“We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Ward family and the people of Hyattsville as they grieve this tragic loss,” the tweet continued.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. Their phone number is 1-800-273-8255.