Max Barry, the only child of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and husband Bruce Barry, died Saturday night from an apparent drug overdose, sending Nashvillians into a state of mourning for the city’s leader and her family.
His death occurred in Littleton, Colo., a suburb of Denver, where the 22-year-old Max Barry had recently moved after graduating college.
The mayor’s office announced the tragedy in a brief written statement Sunday morning.
“Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear,” Barry said. “Our son Max suffered from an overdose and passed away. We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends.
“Our family would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and would respectfully ask for privacy as we mourn the loss of our child and begin to understand a world without his laughter and love in our lives.”
Condolences from across the nation
His death sent shock waves across Nashville and Tennessee, whose leaders expressed grief, and the news reverberated to mayors across the country who offered their condolences.
“This is a terrible tragedy that no family should have to suffer,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville. “My heart goes out to Megan and Bruce. They are such wonderful people.”
“No parent should ever live to see the passing of a child,” Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall tweeted. “The sheriff’s office family and I send our thoughts and prayers to Mayor Megan Barry.”
“Our hearts break for Mayor Megan Barry,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Please keep her family in your thoughts.”
“Heartbroken,” wrote The Rev. John Faison Sr., pastor of Watson Grove Church in Nashville. “May God’s strength be yours, Mayor Megan Barry. Praying for you and your family. Nashville, let’s love this family through.”
Max Barry, who graduated the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. this year, attended Eakin Elementary, West End Middle School, and Martin Luther King Academic Magnet High School in Nashville before attending and graduating from University School of Nashville.
He’s the only child of Megan Barry and Bruce Barry, a professor at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and a longtime contributing writer for the Nashville Scene.
Max Barry graduated from USN in 2013 and stood next to his mother and father in September 2015 when she was sworn-in as the seventh mayor of Nashville’s Metro government and first woman to hold the job.
Additional details of the death are still unclear. A full toxicology report is not available at this time.
Melinda Rose of the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office in Colorado said an official cause or manner of Max Barry’s death would not be declared until the results of an autopsy, which was to be performed on Sunday.
Barry spokesman Sean Braisted said Barry will still be available for items that need immediate attention in the coming days in her role as mayor but that she would likely relinquish upcoming ceremonial duties to aides or other public officials.
SOURCE: Joey Garrison and Jordan Buie