Marion Christopher Barry once hoped to follow his famous father into Washington, DC, politics. Instead, he has followed him to the grave at the age of 36. Family members tell NBC Washington that Barry, the only child of former Mayor Marion Barry, died early Sunday from a suspected drug overdose. According to a police report seen by the Washington Post, Barry smoked PCP and K2, sometimes known as synthetic marijuana, outside a residence just after midnight and acted erratically before he suddenly "dropped." He was pronounced dead at George Washington University Hospital around two hours later.
Barry—whose father's 1990 arrest after being videotaped smoking crack didn't stop him being elected DC mayor again in 1994—ran unsuccessfully last year for the city council seat left vacant by his father's death. Friends tell the Post that Barry, who had repeated brushes with the law, struggled with drug use. Despite having founded a construction business, Barry recently lost his late father's home because he had been unable to keep up payments, friends say. His mother died of leukemia in 2007, 14 years after she divorced his father. "My heart is broken. I am in shock. The news of his death is beyond comprehension," Cora Masters Barry, the former mayor's widow, said in a statement, per USA Today.