The first openly gay mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland Kevin Ward, 44, died on Tuesday by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, leaving behind a husband and two sons.
His body was found in Fort Marcy Park in Virginia, roughly 20 miles away from Hyattsville in Maryland, according to the Washington Post.
The city lamented the loss in an official statement.
"The city knows that Mayor Ward was a well-connected member of our tight-knit community and that this is difficult news," the statement said.
State Attorney and a personal friend of Ward’s Aisha Braveboy lauded him for living “his truth as the first openly gay mayor of Hyattsville.”
Ward worked in human services before he became a council member in 2015. After Mayor Candace Hollingsworth resigned in 2020, Ward filled the vacancy as interim mayor. In May 2021, he won the mayoral election with 58 percent of the vote. Those active in Maryland politics expressed their condolences.
“The First Lady and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward,” Maryland’s Gov. tweeted.
“[Ward] was a wonderful partner in serving the needs of all our residents, and he accomplished so much for Hyattsville during his time as a Councilmember and his time as Mayor,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said.
“We will continue to uplift his family, friends and loved ones in our prayers during this difficult time.”
Vice President Robert Croslin will replace Ward as interim mayor. Until the next election and beyond, Hyattsville will mourn the loss of its first openly gay mayor.
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