The son of Nashville’s mayor died over the weekend “from an overdose,” Mayor Megan Barry and her husband, Bruce, said in a statement.
Max Barry, 22, died on Saturday evening in Denver, said his parents, who according to an official with the coroner’s office in Colorado were aware their son was struggling with drug dependency.
He was visiting friends when he died in the Littleton area, a suburb of Denver, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office told CNN.
“Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear. Our son, Max, suffered from an overdose and passed away,” Barry and her husband said Sunday.
“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.”
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Mark Techmeyer, Barry’s friends noticed he was unresponsive around 8 p.m. While the inquiry into the overdose remains open, Techmeyer said it’s not a criminal investigation and there’s nothing suspicious about Barry’s death.
An autopsy has been completed but Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Dan Pruett said his office won’t have the official toxicology results for a few weeks. He added, however, that Barry’s family was aware of “an ongoing problem and they were dealing with that.”
Barry graduated in June from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He attended Eakin Elementary School, West End Middle School, and MLK High School in Nashville before attending and graduating from University School of Nashville.
“Everything Max did was outsized. He was an enormous personality. You knew when he walked into a room that he was there. He was funny,” said Dean Masullo, Max’s former adviser at the University School, according to CNN affiliate WKRN.
“He had a great sense of humor that he clearly got from his dad. He was smart, he was personable, he was empathetic, he cared deeply about his friends and his family and he loved his school and all of the people in his life.”
A visitation will be held at the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts at the Blair School of Music in Nashville, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday. A memorial will be held at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“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,” the Barry family said.
Condolences poured in from a range of people, former classmates and teachers and political figures, such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Rep. Jim Cooper.
Messages of condolence can be sent to email@example.com or to the Office of Mayor Megan Barry, 1 Public Square, Nashville, Tennessee 37201. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Oasis Center or Nashville Humane Association.
CNN’s Janet DiGiacomo and Deanna Hackney contributed to this report.
By Joe Sterling