BMX 'Pioneer, Icon and Legend' Dave Mirra Dead at 41 | NBC New York
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BMX 'Pioneer, Icon and Legend' Dave Mirra Dead at 41

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    File -- Getty Images
    Bronze medal winner Dave Mirra speaks in a press conference after the Rally Car race during the summer X Games 14 at Home Depot Center on August 3, 2008, in Carson, California.

    Professional BMX rider and rally car racer Dave Mirra, a fixture at the X Games for years, has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said Thursday.

    Police in Greenville, North Carolina discovered Mirra in a truck about 4 p.m., according to a post on the Greenville Police Department Facebook page. Mirra was 41.

    "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 in a statement. "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."

    Police said Mirra had been visiting friends in the area where the truck was found. The release also called Mirra "an icon" in BMX and credited him with bringing the sport to Greenville.

    Redferns via Getty Images

    Mirra's 24 medals, won in BMX and rally car, are the second most collected in X Games history, according to the website of the extreme sports competition's website. Fourteen of the medals were gold, six silver and four bronze.

    Another extreme sports legend, skateboarder Tony Hawk, tweeted his condolences Thursday night.

    "Goodbye Dave Mirra, a true pioneer, icon and legend. Thank you for the memories... we are heartbroken," Hawk said.

    Mirra's X Games career spanned 18 years, with his first competition coming in X Games 1995, where he placed second in the BMX Vert competition, and his last in 2013, a 13th-place finish in X Games Los Angeles 2013's RCR RallyCross.

    Action sports athlete Dave Mirra performs at the "T-Mobile Ramps and Amps Invitational" on July 19, 2003 on Randall's Island in New York City.
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    His biking career was so successful that two video games were named for him: "Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX" (2000) and a sequel. He also hosted MTV's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge."

    On Mirra's Instagram page, where people were commenting with their condolences Thursday night, he described himself as a husband, father, X Games champion, Ironman racer, boxer and David Letterman guest.

    He followed his brother, Tim, to Greenville in the mid-1990s, and he stayed, making the town of about 60,000 home to something more than East Carolina University, according to The Associated Press.

    He is survived by his wife and two children, police said.