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'Everybody Loves Raymond' Stars Pay Tribute to Sawyer Sweeten After Tragic Suicide

"He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around," Ray Romano says

The stars of the CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" are offering touching remembrances of their former castmate Sawyer Sweeten, following Sweeten's suicide on Thursday at age 19.

Patricia Heaton, who played mother to Sweeten's Geoffrey Barone on the comedy series, tweeted that Sweeten was "a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon."

Heaton added, "The entire cast of #EverybodyLovesRaymond is in shock. Prayers for the Sweeten family."

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Sweeten fatally shot himself while visiting family in Texas on Thursday. His twin brother Sullivan and older sister Madylin also starred as the children of Ray Romano's Ray Barone and Heaton's Debra Barone. In a statement, Romano said that he was "shocked" and "terribly saddened" by Sweeten's death, calling him "a wonderful and sweet kid to be around."

"I'm shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer," Romano said. "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," Romano added.

Doris Roberts, who played Marie, the children's intrusive, manipulative grandmother on the series, wrote a touching tribute to Sweeten on Facebook.

"It is with great sadness that I learned the news that Sawyer Sweeten, who played my grandson Geoffrey Barone on 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' died at his family's home in Texas. He was a very sweet young man who will be dearly missed," Roberts wrote.

The actress took the opportunity to remind readers to maintain ties with loved ones.

"Make sure your loved ones know how much you care about them, and please check in with them if you haven't touched base with them for a while. It's very important to keep in touch," the actress added.

It is with great sadness that I learned the news that Sawyer Sweeten, who played my grandson Geoffrey Barone on '...

Posted by Doris Roberts on Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Raymond" star Brad Garrett, who played Robert Barone on the series, said in a statement, "We are all devastated by this tragic news. The Sweeten family was our family for those nine years on 'Raymond.' My deepest condolences and love go out to them during this unimaginable time."

"Everybody Loves Raymond" aired from 1996 to 2005 on CBS, receiving 69 Emmy nominations and 15 wins.

In a statement Thursday, Madylin Sweeten said the family is devastated: "This morning a terrible family tragedy has occurred. 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."