Pursuing Our Dreams

MarShawn McCarrel

MarShawn McCarrel, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, apparently killed himself on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse, law enforcement officials said.

On Feb. 8, authorities were called to the site of a shooting around 6 p.m. and found McCarrel, 23, dead on the steps of the legislative building, Lt. Craig Cvetan of the State Highway Patrol said, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Although McCarrel’s motives are unknown, he posted a series of posts on social media leading up to his death that, in retrospect, seem to foreshadow his demise.

“Woke up and I’m still here,” he tweeted on Feb. 5.

“I never wanted much. Just peace to make y’all proud,” he tweeted on Feb. 6.

McCarrel’s last tweet before he died read, “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before I left.”

At 3 p.m. on Feb. 8, just hours before his death, McCarrel also made a Facebook post, saying, “My demons won today. I’m sorry.”

The young Ohio activist began organizing protest after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., according to the Washington Post.

McCarrel was the founder of Pursuing Our Dreams, a youth mentorship program, and Feed the Streets, an organization to help the homeless.

According to a June 2014 interview with Columbus Underground, McCarrel said at one time he became homeless and had to sleep outside, and hoped someone would “get his back.”

“It’s never the feeling that we are here to save anybody,” McCarrel told the Columbus Underground at the time. “We don’t believe in heroes. We believe in neighbors.”

McCarrel’s organization made a Facebook update on Feb. 9 after the loss of their founder, saying: “We are saddened by the loss of founder of Pursuing Our Dreams. We never know what a person is going through RIP MarShawn.”

Many other supporters also took to social media to mourn. On Twitter, the hashtag #MarShawnMcCarrel was one of the week’s trending topics.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) tweeted, “Thinking of #MarShawnMcCarrel, his family & everyone he touched.”

Even singer Janelle Monàe took to Twitter, saying, “GOD BLESS THE FAMILY OF #MarShawnMcCarrel.”