Plum mayoral candidate Shawn Marcellino has died following a collapse at a softball game last night.
“We spoke with his loved ones about his passion for softball and his aspiration to become mayor.”
A cross made of softball bats was placed behind the home plate at Living Word Church.
Reports say he was taken to Forbes Hospital where he died, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.
He was a senior-level manager at Highmark, Marcellino died at the age of 40.
Plum EMS Director of Operations Brian Maloney said crews were dispatched at 6:28 p.m. to the 200 block of Elicker Road for a medical condition involving a patient who was unresponsive.
Maloney confirmed his team made the transport, but could not get into further details due to patient confidentiality and respect for the family.
His family has released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying:
“Shawn’s family and friends are deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic death. He had aspirations of becoming the next mayor of Plum, the place he grew up and still called home.
He knew it was going to be a tough fight but was very optimistic and had a great team behind him.
“What started off as any other softball game, quickly took a bad turn. Briefly complaining of chest pains, he sat down to let the feeling pass. Once it was realized he had collapsed, both teams sprinted to try to help him.
Going in and out of consciousness until the ambulance arrived, there was nothing more anyone could have done. He had a ruptured aorta.
Shawn died doing what he loved, and his last at-bat was recorded as a hit.
“We are all truly grateful for everyone who has reached out. Arrangements will be finalized in the coming days.”
Marcellino was set to challenge Mayor Harry Schlegel, a Republican, in November.
The incumbent said he was shocked to hear the news of Marcellino’s death.
“I was in shock that something like that would happen,” Schlegel said. “He was 40 years old. I thought he was younger than that, but he was 40 years old and took a heart attack playing softball.”
Schlegel said he knows Plum EMS did everything they could to save the man’s life, noting a success story of a woman who survived a cardiac arrest earlier this year.
“Unfortunately, Shawn didn’t make it,” the mayor said. “My thoughts and prayers go to the family, my condolences. The way that life is, parents die before their children, not the reverse. This has got to be devastating to them.
“The guy wanted to get involved and stepped up. I wish he would have ran for council or school board, but he chose to run for mayor. That was his right and I give him all the respect and credit in the world for putting his name on the ballot and doing what he needed to do to go for it. I was looking forward to learning more about him during the campaign, but that’s not going to happen now. That’s a shame. It’s not the way of the world.”
School board president Mike Devine was a longtime friend of Marcellino.
“We were best friends since we were 12,” Devine said. “He was like a brother to me. He was always there for me and I am going to miss him greatly.”
Marcellino had responded to a questionnaire from the Tribune-Review that was sent to local candidates in numerous races about why they wanted to run for office among other subjects.
“As Plum is becoming a more diverse community, I want to make sure that the community has someone that is willing to represent and support all Plum residents by working with residents and community groups to bring people together for a common cause,” Marcellino wrote. “I’m also a strong supporter of small businesses. I’d like to see more business growth in Plum so that residents don’t have to always go to our surrounding communities for goods and services. I don’t feel that the current local government has done a very good job in attracting new businesses to Plum and I want to work to change that.”
Marcellino grew up in Holiday Park and graduated from Plum in 1999. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice and then attended Point Park University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business.
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