Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward dies by suicide

Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward has passed away. He was 44. 

Mayor Ward died on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the City of Hyattsville said in a statement. 

"Mayor Ward was a valued and trusted leader and a fierce advocate for all the people of Hyattsville. We are heartbroken at this loss and extend our deepest sympathy to the Mayor’s family," the statement reads. 

(City of Hyattsville)

Ward, who previously served as the city council president, took office at the end of 2020 after then-mayor Candace Hollingsworth stepped down. 

He won the mayoral election in May 2021. And was a staunch advocate for affordable housing. His campaign was built around his plans to demand that county representatives pass laws needed to ensure affordable housing in Hyattsville and across Prince George's County. 

Ward also wanted to create programs and services to support working-class families, especially for youth and seniors.  

Hyattsville mayors are part-time city employees. Mayor Ward also worked as a director of technology for KIPP DC.    

On his campaign page, Ward described himself as a "husband, father, grandfather, and proud resident of Hyattsville." He said that one of his favorite things to do in Hyattsville was to explore the city, "especially its parks." 

"My favorite times at Magruder Park are the fireworks on the City’s Anniversary Weekend and the annual Hyattsville Zombie Run," he said. 

The city says it will share details about services or remembrances when they are available. 

City Council Vice President Robert Croslin will serve as interim mayor. 

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line)