A charismatic and accomplished Ohio activist took his life last night on the steps of the Ohio statehouse in Columbus. MarShawn M. McCarrel II shot himself at the capital shortly after posting this ominous message to his Facebook page:

“My demons won today. I’m sorry.”

McCarrel was 23 years old and was known for his instrumental role in organizing Ferguson protests in 2014 over the killing of Michael Brown as well as later launching several initiatives to help youth and homeless in Ohio. McCarrel was the founder of the mentorship program Pursuing Our Dreams as well as Feed The Streets, a homeless assistance program.

Earlier this year, McCarrel was named one of Radio One’s Hometown heroes and was described by the nomination as “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.” McCarrel had just attended the NAACP Image Awards this past Friday with his mother, just days before the tragedy occurred.

Looking through McCarrel’s Twitter feed as well as his Facebook profile, it paints the picture of a sensitive and expressive man who valued people.


Late Monday and through Tuesday, people have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the activist and friend.

Why exactly McCarrel chose to take his life is unknown, but many in the activism community are feeling the loss of a valuable young voice today.

If you are experiencing suicidal feelings, please call or visit the suicide hotline:
1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter
@SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com