Baltimore County police issued a statement saying that Kamenetz, 60, had been transported by ambulance early this morning to University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center where he was declared dead of a cardiac arrest.

“Kamenetz was at his home in Owings Mills, asleep, when he awoke at about 2 a.m. and complained of feeling ill,” police said in a statement. “He was transported by the Garrison Fire Station’s Medic 19 to St. Joseph, where doctors pronounced him deceased at 3:22 a.m.”

The news stunned his friends, colleagues and Maryland’s political establishment.

Mohler said that the county’s administrative officer Fred Homan has become “acting county executive effective immediately.”

According to county regulations, the County Council will have to vote on a replacement for Kamenetz to serve the remaining seven months of his term through early December.

Kevin Kamenetz's legacy: Understanding Baltimore County's past, seeing its future