Less than a year after his election, Mayor Kevin Ward has passed away from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Newsweek reports. He was 44.

According to reports, Ward’s body was discovered at Fort Marcy Park in McLean on Tuesday. He was appointed interim mayor of the city at the beginning of 2021 and then was elected with 58 percent of the vote in May.

"It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward passed away yesterday, January 25, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," the city 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 his family," the statement said.

"The City knows that Mayor Ward was a well-connected member of our tight-knit community and that this is difficult news," the city's statement went on

Before beginning his career in politics, Ward worked as a consultant in educational technology.

In 2014, Ward, along with his husband and his two adopted sons, relocated to Hyattsville and served on the City Council. As a city council member, Ward co-sponsored legislation to designate Hyattsville as a sanctuary city, and voted to expand the municipal vote to all residents, including non-citizen residents.

Throughout the city, Ward gained a reputation for being committed to working towards progress with dedicated service.

“I believe in doing the work,” he said. “I believe that if I can help someone, then I can change her or his life. This is why I dedicated my career to providing the best technology to education and human services, to help as many as I can.

County council member Deni Taveras (D-District 2) noted that Ward was beloved in Hyattsville and said that even when they couldn't agree on public policy,  she “always respected his devotion to the community.”

“I stand with his family and his children and his constituency at this time,” she shared.

Robert Crolin, Hyattsville City Council Vice President, will now serve as interim mayor.

We offer prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Kevin Ward.