Maryland Mayor Dies by Apparent Suicide, Remembered as 'a Valued and Trusted Leader'

·3 min read
Mayor Kevin Ward
Mayor Kevin Ward

City of Hyattsville Police Department

The City of Hyattsville, Maryland, is mourning the death of its mayor, who died by suicide on Tuesday.

The city announced Wednesday that Mayor Kevin Ward had died the day prior "from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound." Additional details about his death have yet to be released.

"It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved #HyattsvilleMayor Kevin Ward passed away yesterday," the city wrote Wednesday on Twitter, adding, "We are heartbroken by this loss and share our deepest sympathy for the Mayor's family."

In the city's official statement, Mayor Ward was lauded as "a valued and trusted leader and a fierce advocate for all the people of Hyattsville."

RELATED: Rep. Henry Cuellar, Whose Home Was Searched by FBI, Vows to Run Still: 'No Wrongdoing'

"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.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Ward, who previously served as president of the Hyattsville City Council, first took office as mayor in 2020 after then-mayor Candace Hollingsworth resigned from the position, FOX 5 DC reports. He was officially elected mayor in May 2021 and was an advocate for affordable housing and supporting working-class families.

Mayor Kevin Ward
Mayor Kevin Ward

Kevin Ward Facebook

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks offered her condolences on Twitter. "We are so heartbroken and devastated to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward," she wrote, calling Ward "an outstanding leader" that "deeply loved his City."

RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Is Retiring

City Council member Edouard Haba said Ward had a caring personality, NBC Washington reports. "He always liked to ask about my children, how they're doing. He called them 'buddies,'" Haba recalled.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan also shared his sympathies on social media. "The First Lady and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward," the Republican leader wrote on Twitter.

"We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Ward family and the people of Hyattsville as they grieve this tragic loss," he added.

State delegates Nicole Williams and Alonzo T. Washington, who serve Maryland's 22nd district, chimed in as well, sharing their sadness over Ward's death.

RELATED: Tenn. Boy Who Was Fatally Shot Wrote Letter to Governor About Gun Law Last Year: 'People Will Be Murdered'

"Mayor Ward was more than just a municipal leader in my District, he was my friend," Williams said, WTOP reports. "My heart is heavy right now. His partner and his children are in my prayers right now."

"Kevin was a wonderful friend, father, husband, and fierce advocate for the city's residents. I want to extend my deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed."

City Council Vice President Robert Croslin will serve as interim mayor following Ward's death, according to WTOP and FOX Baltimore.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting