Mayor Kevin Ward, who led the city of Hyattsville in Prince George's County, Maryland, died Tuesday, leaving behind two sons, a husband and a city in mourning.
City officials said it appeared that Ward took his own life.
On Wednesday night, two members of the Hyattsville City Council and a city employee said Ward, a trusted leader who advocated for all people, will be deeply missed. Gov. Larry Hogan and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks also mourned Ward's passing on Twitter.
“We are heartbroken that we lost a beloved mayor. He was an amazing person who would go out of his way to help anyone," Interim Mayor Robert Croslin said.
Croslin also sent his deepest condolences to Ward’s family and his children, and said his death was truly a loss for the community.
Reggie Bagley, the city's emergency operations manager, agreed, calling Ward "a wonderful person for the city."
Before being elected mayor in 2021, Ward served on the Hyattsville City Council. Council member Edouard Haba said Ward cared about others.
"He always liked to ask about my children, how they’re doing. He called them ‘buddies,'” Haba said.
Upper Marlboro Mayor Sarah Franklin also issued a statement following Ward's suspected suicide.
“We grieve for you and with you. You have not only lost a valued and respected community leader, but a neighbor, a friend, and a family member," she said. “We are living in difficult and challenging times, and I urge anyone who may be struggling to reach out and seek support. County residents in need of mental health support are encouraged to contact Community Crisis Services, Inc.: dial 211 and press 1 or call 800-273-TALK; or the Affiliated Sante Group crisis support line: 301-429-2185."
Prince George's County
News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.