The son of former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has died from an apparent overdose. Marion Christopher Barry died Sunday at age 36, the Washington Post reported.
No official cause of death has been confirmed as of yet, but a police report said Marion Christopher Barry stepped outside and smoked K-2, a synthetic drug, and PCP, a hallucinogen he struggled with throughout his life. According to the report, he “suddenly dropped” shortly after returning.
He was found unconscious by his girlfriend and taken to George Washington University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:11 a.m.
Marion Christopher Barry’s stepmother, Cora Masters Barry, said she was “shocked” by her stepson’s death.
“My heart is broken,” the widow of the deceased mayor said in a statement. “I am in shock. The news of his death is beyond comprehension.”
Marion Christopher Barry had recently ran for the Ward 8 city council seat, which was held by his father until he died in 2014. Although he lost the election, his campaign manager, Liz Matory, said Marion Christopher Barry was “reflective in his final days,” and was figuring out the next steps for his future.
However, there may have been a few indicators leading up to his death. Read on to find out more about his past below:
1. He had a history of criminal behavior: Marion Christopher Barry had been involved in several run-ins with the law over the years. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to drug possession charges after police found a half-ounce vial of liquid PCP and five sandwich bags of marijuana inside his home. Marion Christopher Barry told the judge that he was “self-medicating” and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
In 2015, Marion Christopher Barry was arrested for allegedly threatening a Chinatown bank teller and destroying a surveillance camera after being denied a $20,000 withdrawal from his account. He had previously been arrested in July 2014 after he was discovered driving without a license because it had been suspended by a judge just two months prior for allegedly driving under the influence.
2. He was struggling financially: Marion Christopher Barry was in the process of moving into a new apartment after losing the home that belonged to his late father. He could no longer keep up with the payments. According to Matory, “by losing the house, he felt another loss because that was his place that he’d go to remember his dad.” He failed to secure the new apartment he was planning to move into also, because his new landlord decided last minute that he didn’t want any new tenants.
3. He was at crossroads in his life: Although Marion Christopher Barry attempted to honor his father by running to take the elder Barry’s Ward 8 seat, those close to him say he was still terribly grief-stricken from the death. Only adding to his sadness, Marion Christopher Barry’s close friend, A.J. Cooper — whom he had worked with to secure bids for his construction business — also passed away in 2014. Friends of Marion Christopher Barry recalled him trying his best to keep his spirits up, but said he often felt alone.