Gwen Casten, the 17-year-old daughter of Democratic Representative Sean Casten of Illinois, has passed away according to the lawmaker’s office.
The death occurred on Monday at the family home, though no cause of death has been announced.
“This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen, 17, passed away. The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time,” the statement read.
This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away. The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.
— Rep. Sean Casten (@RepCasten) June 14, 2022
This shocking news comes on the heels of Casten discussing the “tremendous pride” he has in his daughter, who has been an activist in political circles and most recently organized a “Stop the Bleed” event at her school. The event teaches children how to pack wounds in the event of a shooting.
“I have both tremendous pride that my daughter took the initiative to organize that and tremendous shame that we as a country are making it the responsibility of children aged 15, 16 and 17 to do what sitting United States senators don’t have the courage to do themselves,” Casten said in an interview with Newsy earlier this month.
My teenage daughter, Gwen organized a “Stop The Bleed” training to learn how to pack a gunshot wound during a school shooting because, in America, our children have taken it upon themselves to do what sitting US Senators don’t have the courage to do. pic.twitter.com/FSV2OJatq9
— Rep. Sean Casten (@RepCasten) June 3, 2022
She was also active with the Illinois chapter of the pro-gun control group “March for Our Lives” and acted as a co-director for the organization.
Democrat Rep. Marie Newman, against whom Casten is running for a third congressional term, also issued a statement about the shocking and sudden loss of Casten’s daughter.
“My heart breaks for the Casten family for the devastating loss of their daughter. My prayers are with Sean, Kara, and the entire Casten family.” The Newman campaign also announced that they are “working to cease all comparative paid communications immediately.”
Twitter users spanning the political spectrum came together to give their condolences to the Casten family:
Tears. I’m so sorry, Rep. Casten. Please keep a strong circle around you. Lean on each other. Grieve in your own time and way. Tears.
Please watch this too, you may find it healing and helpful.https://t.co/40HSm7SfLj
— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) June 14, 2022
I’m a big critic of Sean’s policies, but that is really terrible news. Nothing is harder on a parent than the loss of a child.
— Michael O’Hogan (@MichaelOHogan1) June 14, 2022
Gwen was an amazing human being and I am so happy I had the privilege of meeting her. I can’t imagine what the Casten family is going through. So sorry for your loss. Will keep your family in my prayers.
— Ammar Hussain (@ammarh4420) June 14, 2022
This grieving mother offers her sympathy and understanding.
— True Blue Patriot☮ (@TrueBluPatriot) June 14, 2022
I lost my beautiful boy (17 years old) two Wednesdays ago, a grandson who lived with my husband and I since he was a baby. I can’t even begin to mourn (an admission he is never coming back?) I’m so sorry for your loss and the agony you are experiencing. Peace. Be still.
— Marisa Bennett (@BeachIntense) June 14, 2022
Just awful. 🙏🙏🙏
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) June 14, 2022
That’s so sad. Very sorry.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 14, 2022
This is awful beyond words. You and your family are in my prayers, and I hope you find strength in the difficult days ahead. May Gwen’s memory be a blessing upon us all.
— Bob Morgan (@BobMorganIL) June 14, 2022
My deepest condolences to you and your family. May you find some peace during this difficult time.
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) June 14, 2022
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