Hawthorne Heights guitarist Casey Calvert was found dead Saturday in his tour bus outside of Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club. The news has shocked family members, friends, and fans worldwide. Over the weekend, a posting on the Ohio-based rock band’s homepage said that Calvert died during his sleep of an unknown cause.

Calvert spent the Thanksgiving holiday at home with his family in Ohio before playing a show Friday night in Detroit, Michigan that kicked off Hawthorne Heights’ mammoth Wintour ’07 tour with Escape Fate, Amber Pacific, the A.K.A.s, and Secret Handshake. At 2:30 p.m. the next day—hours before the band was set to take stage in D.C. for the second date of the tour—police found Calvert unconscious.

“Just last night [Casey] was joking around with everyone before he went to bed,” the Hawthorne Heights website reads. “We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal. Please, out of respect to Casey and his family, don’t contribute or succumb to any gossip you may hear. We don’t want his memory to be tainted in the least. Casey was our best friend. He was quirky and awesome and there will truly be no others like him!” The names of surviving bandmates Eron Bucciarelli, JT Woodruff, Micah Carli, and Matt Ridenour are all signed to the announcement.

Early reports say that Calvert suffered from acute asthma and used an inhaler—a preexisting condition that may have contributed to his passing?but a coroner’s report has not yet been released.

Calvert joined Hawthorne Heights in 2003, when the band was still called A Day in the Life. Besides providing rhythm guitar, Calvert’s screams punctuated both of the band’s albums, contributing to their hard-hitting sound. Hawthorne Heights’ sophomore album, If Only You Were Lonely, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard chart last February, and yielded the hit “Saying Sorry.” The band had already written 21 songs for their third album, but recorded none, due to a recent row with the band’s record label.

Casey Calvert is survived by his wife, two stepsisters, and his mother and father. On Monday, Casey’s stepmother, Tammy Calvert, told the Washington Post, “He was a very good and kind young man, and right now there aren’t any answers.” ?Ellen Mallernee