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Illinois Rep. Sean Casten announces his 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, has died

The Congressman's eldest child was a gun control activist.
Rep. Sean Casten announced on June 13 that his 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, has died.
Rep. Sean Casten announced on June 13 that his 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, has died.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / AP Images
/ Source: TODAY

Illinois Rep. Sean Casten announced on Monday that his 17-year-old daughter, Gwen, has died. 

“This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away,” the lawmaker’s office wrote on Twitter. “The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment at this heartbreaking time.”

Gwen died inside the family’s home, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing local police.

Casten, 50, and his wife, Kara, are also parents of Audrey, 15.

Earlier this month, Gwen appeared in a campaign video supporting Casten’s bid for a third term in Congress. In the clip, Gwen, a gun control activist, expressed excitement about turning 18 and being able to vote for her father in the upcoming election. 

“Sean Casten is working to pass real gun reform like universal background checks to protect our neighborhoods and classrooms,” Gwen said. She also noted that he’s “fighting to make sure that women can make their own health care choices.”

During an interview with Newsy on June 3, Casten revealed that Gwen spearheaded a Stop the Bleeding training at her school. The initiative teaches people how to help in an emergency. Casten said Gwen was inspired to take action after she learned that “too often in these mass shootings, the first responders are not the EMTs because they can’t get in — the doors are locked.”

“I have tremendous pride that my daughter took the initiative to organize that,” Casten said.

Casten, a Democrat, was elected in 2018. According to his campaign website, he is a scientist and the first Democrat to represent the 6th district in nearly 50 years.