Black Lives Matter Activist Kills Self Outside Statehouse

'My demons won today. I'm sorry,' MarShawn McCarrel II wrote on Facebook
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2016 7:44 AM CST
This undated photo shows Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn M. McCarrel II.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – A Black Lives Matter activist is dead after shooting himself outside the entrance of the Ohio Statehouse where he previously attended protests. Police say MarShawn McCarrel II was pronounced dead on the scene around 6pm Monday. "We don't have any evidence to know the reason why he did it," a State Highway Patrol rep tells the Columbus Dispatch. But the Washington Post notes McCarrel's social media posts "oscillated between joy and despair." "I love y'all," the 23-year-old tweeted Monday morning. At noon came his final tweet: "Let the record show that I pissed on the statehouse before I left." Then this Facebook post around 3pm: "My demons won today. I'm sorry."

A former teacher describes McCarrel as the student he was proudest of in his 27 years on the job. "I saw him as a shining star in the future of civil rights." Indeed: McCarrel was named one of just 15 Radio One Hometown Champions, attended the NAACP's Image Awards on Friday, helped organize Black Lives Matter protests in Ohio after the shooting of Michael Brown, founded a youth mentorship program, and worked with the homeless. "He had so much to do," his mom tells the Dispatch. "He forgot to take time for himself." A fellow activist says "the statehouse was no accident. We've been working so hard, and yet the conditions for the people in our community ... are still so hard." McCarrel was "an activist to his soul," a friend adds on Facebook. He "fought tirelessly in Ohio and beyond for the rights of oppressed people … Brother—we'll keep fighting. You rest, now." (Read more Black Lives Matter stories.)

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