Dave Mirra, BMX Star and Former Host of MTV's 'The Challenge,' Found Dead of Apparent Suicide
By Alex Ungerman
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Professional BMX biker Dave Mirra has died of an apparent suicide at age 41.
The Greenville, North Carolina Police Department said in a statement on their Facebook page on Thursday: "Officers discovered Dave Mirra, 41, of Greenville, sitting in a truck with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been visiting friends in the area a short time before the incident."
Mirra is survived by his wife, Lauren, and the couple's two children.
"Dave's wife and family are shocked and saddened by the loss of such a remarkable person whom they loved so deeply. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers and for respecting their privacy through this difficult time," Steve Astephen, a longtime family friend and Mirra's agent, said on behalf of the Mirra family.
The pro biker, who hosted MTV's The Challenge from 2004-05, posted to his Instagram twice the day he was found dead. (Both Instagrams seem to be screenshots of previous posts.) The first, a photo of what appears to be Mirra and his wife, was captioned: "My rock! Thank god."
The last photo posted to Mirra's account is captioned, "Rose high school Greenville Nc."
On Wednesday, Mirra posted a boxing picture with the caption: "Fight to win! We all have a battles to fight. Never back down. Love you all. #diewithyourbootson."
"Considered an icon in the pro-BMX world, Mirra, was instrumental in bringing the sport to the City of Greenville, which now is home to more than 20 professional BMX riders," Greenville Police said.
"We mourn the loss today of a great friend and wonderful human being who touched the lives of so many around the world with his gift," said Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas. " He called Greenville, North Carolina home and was as humble a guy talking with kids on a street corner about bikes as he was in his element on the world stage. A young life with so much to offer was taken too soon."
The police department added that Mirra's family "would appreciate privacy during this very difficult time."