Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward has died.

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Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward, (D), was a two-term member of the city council who was elected to lead Maryland last year. He died Tuesday.

Ward, 44, was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot injury in Fort Marcy Park, McLean, according to a spokesperson from the U.S. Park Police.

His passing prompted a flood of grief from colleagues and legislators across the state. They described him as a dedicated public servant who loved Hyattsville deeply.

According to the statement, “Mayor Ward was an important and trusted leader, and a fierce advocate of all the people in Hyattsville.” “We are deeply sorry for this loss and offer our condolences to the Mayor’s loved ones.”

After adopting their two sons , Ward and his husband moved from Chicago to Hyattsville in 2014. As a consultant in educational technology, human services technology, Ward 1 Council member, Ward 1 cited his achievements as co-sponsoring legislation that designated Hyattsville as a “sanctuary City”, expanding civic engagement, and ensuring Hyattsville Middle School was a construction priority.

“I’m a very straightforward person. Ward stated that he believes in listening more than speaking on his campaign website. But when I speak, I don’t mince words or tell people what I think they should hear. I believe in the importance of doing the work. If I can help someone, I can make a difference in their lives.”

Aisha Braveboy, the State’s Attorney (D), called Ward a friend and said that Ward was not afraid to “live his truth” as Hyattsville’s first openly gay mayor.

Braveboy released a statement saying that Braveboy will be greatly missed for his leadership and support of Prince George’s County, as well as the joy he gave us with a radiant smile.

After Candace Hollingsworth’s resignation, Ward was elected interim mayor. With 58 per cent of the vote, he won the May 2021 election.

Angela D. Alsobrooks, County Executive (D), said that “He was a wonderful partnership in serving the needs all our residents and he accomplished so many for Hyattsville in his time as a Mayor and Councilmember.” “We will continue our support to his family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.

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Ward was a beloved figure in Hyattsville, according to Deni Taveras, a county council member (D-District 2) who said that she loved Ward and “always respected” his dedication to the community, even though she didn’t agree with him.

She said, “I stand by his family, his children, and his constituency at the moment.”

Robert Croslin, Vice President of Hyattsville City Council, will serve as interim mayor.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273 TALK (8255) if you or someone you care about needs assistance. Texting the Crisis Text Line at 74171 will allow you to text a crisis counselor.