Around 3 p.m. Monday, a cryptic message was left on the Facebook page of Ohio Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn M. McCarrel II: “My demons won today. I’m sorry.”
Around 6 p.m. that day, McCarrel’s body was found outside the front door of the Ohio Statehouse,the Columbus Dispatch reports. It’s believed that McCarrel died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, although no one witnessed the shooting. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 23-year-old activist was instrumental in organizing protests in Ohio after the death of Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown in 2014.
According to the New York Daily News, McCarrel founded the “youth mentorship program Pursuing Our Dreams, which launched Feed the Streets, a project to help Ohio’s homeless.” Earlier this year, McCarrel was named one of Radio One’s Hometown Champions, an award given to community activists.
“He is selfless and will give his last in order to make sure others don’t go without,” read a nomination page for the Hometown Champions Award. “MarShawn has come so far in life and has inspired so many people to help others.”
On Friday, McCarrel attended the NAACP Image Awards with his mother, according to the Daily News.
Before his death, McCarrel posted a series of tweets. One read, “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before I left.” In another he said, “If we don’t have to live through hell just to get to heaven. I’ma stay right here with you.”