The city of Hyattsville, Maryland revealed on Wednesday that Mayor Kevin Ward had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, less than a year after being elected to govern the city.

“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,” a post on the official website for Hyattsville said on Wednesday. “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.”

According to WJLA, United States Park Police personnel in Fort Marcy, a park in McLean, Virginia found Ward's body.

Ward, a valued leader who campaigned for all people, would be dearly missed, two members of the Hyattsville City Council and a city employee said on Wednesday night. Ward's death was also mourned on Twitter by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

“I am a pretty straightforward person. I believe in listening more than talking,” Ward said on his campaign website. “But when I talk, I am not one to mince words or tell people what they want to hear. I believe in doing the work. I believe that if I can help someone, then I can change her or his life.”

After adopting two sons, Ward and his family relocated to Hyattsville in 2014. The Washington Post said he worked as an educational and human services technology consultant. As a Ward 1 council member, he cited co-sponsoring legislation to designate Hyattsville as a "sanctuary city," expanding civic engagement, and ensuring Hyattsville Middle School remained a construction priority among his accomplishments.

Ward took over as interim mayor in January 2021, following the resignation of then-Mayor Candace Hollingsworth. He received 58 percent of the vote in the May 2021 election.

“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 in a tweet.

NBC Washington said that Croslin also condoled with Ward's family and children and that his passing was a true community loss.

The city's emergency operations manager, Reggie Bagley, also said that Ward is "a wonderful person for the city."

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[Representational image] SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: A message is seen on the Golden Gate Bridge near where the new suicide prevention net is being installed on December 13, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Installation of the the Golden Gate Bridge suicide prevention net has been delayed at least two years due to issues with the lead contractor on the job. The installation was scheduled to be completed in 2021 but is now expected to be completed by 2023. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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