LaShon Beamon, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Medical Examiner that performed his autopsy, says he died of an accidental drug overdose. He overdosed of acute phencyclidine toxicity – commonly known as PCP or angel dust. He reportedly smoked K2, a type of synthetic drug — mixed the hallucinogen PCP, according to a D.C. police report issued at the time. Barry was rushed to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:11 a.m.
The young Barry had struggled with drug abuse and was given 18 months of probation in 2011 for PCP possession.
A civil rights leader and prominent politician, the senior Barry served as mayor of Washington, D.C, from 1979 to 1991. He was arrested in 1990 after he was caught smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting operation. He was re-elected mayor and served again, between 1995 and 1999. He also served on the Council of the District of Columbia for three terms, one as an at-large member and two serving Ward 8. He died in 2014 at the age of 78.
In 2015, the younger Barry was on a mission to replace his dad. He ran to fill the former District City Council seat of his deceased father.
During his campaign, he said in a media interview, “It’s challenging when some of the people that I thought would be supportive aren’t … but I have a passion for the people in this community. I grew up here, I’m from here. I know the people here, but at the same time, I’ve also had the blessing of having a father where I have been exposed to the government end. I am the only candidate that has built schools and rec centers in this area. Ward 8 residents need opportunity and jobs, and I am the only one who has directly given residents jobs and built in this community.”
He lost the election.
Christopher Barry’s mother Effi died of leukemia in 2007. She was 63.