Sawyer Sweeten, the 19-year-old former child star, who began his career playing one of the Barone twins on Everybody Loves Raymond, has committed suicide.  His family confirmed that Sweeten had “taken his own life” on Thursday. 

Sawyer played Geoffrey Barone in the hit show, which also featured his twin brother Sullivan as Michael Barone and older sister Madylin as Ally Barone.

Based on lead actor Ray Romano’s stand-up routines, the show focused on the title character – Ray Barone’s – strained relationship with his parents and older brother. Everybody loves Raymond ran successfully between 1996 - when Sawyer and Sullivan were just 16 months old - and 2005.

Ray Romano
Ray Romano offered his condolences and expressed his respect for Sawyer in a statement.

The teen’s suicide was particularly gruesome, according to the family, who say in the statement that Sawyer shot himself on the front porch of the family home in Texas.  According to the statement, quoted by BBC News, the family will try to keep the tragedy as far from the public eye as possible.

"We are devastated to report that our beloved brother, son, and friend, Sawyer Sweeten, took his own life. He was weeks away from his 20th birthday.

"At this sensitive time, our family requests privacy and we beg of you to reach out to the ones you love." 

After the sad announcement, Romano offered the following statement "I'm shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer.

"He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around. Just a great energy whenever he was there.

"My heart breaks for him, his family, and his friends during this very difficult time."