Candles spelling out Marshawn

Photos by Ruben Herrera

A candlelight vigil  honored the life of Marshawn McCarrel, local community leader, drawing friends and fellow activists together in sadness and solidarity. "Many people spoke, sang songs and cried," said Pejmaan Irani who attended the event at Dodge Park in Franklinton on Tuesday night, February 9 at 6pm. McCarrel committed suicide on the stairs of the Ohio Statehouse on February 8 after posting "My demons won today. I'm sorry." McCarrel was 23 -years-old from Columbus' west side.

McCarrel was a well-known and liked Black Lives Matter activist. Free Press Editor Bob Fitrakis remembers him from a protest in Beavercreek following the John Crawford murder at the WalMart there. Members of the Ohio Student Association had sat in at the Sheriff's office in Beavercreek to demand answers following the police shooting of Crawford.

News reports list McCarrel's other contributions to social justice as being the "...founder of a mentorship program named Pursuing Our Dreams and a homeless charity called Feed the Streets." He was also recently reported to have attended the NAACP Image awards in Los Angeles, invited as a "Hometown Hero." Videos of his interviews as an activist, photos, and his social media postings are making the rounds all over the web as the community mourns his death. 

Friend and comrade Ruben Herrera posted this on Facebook: "The PEOPLE gathered in vigilance. The People cried and laughed together. The People shared story The People vowed to stay strong. The People will continue to fight."