Ian Alexander Jr., the son of actress Regina King, has died by suicide shortly after celebrating his 26th birthday, LoveBScott reports

"Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian," King told PEOPLE. "He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you."

Alexander Jr. was King's only child. The actress shared her beloved son with her ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. Following a similar path as his father, who is a record producer, the young man pursued a career as a deejay. 

King said it was challenging to be a single parent after she divorced Alexander Sr. in 2007. Still, the Hollywood star persisted, aiming to give unconditional love to her son.

"You don't know what unconditional love is. You may say you do, but if you don't have a child, you don't know what that is," King said in a previous interview. "When you experience it, it's the most fulfilling [thing] ever."

The mother and son illustrated their love for each other when they decided to get matching tattoos which read "unconditional love" in Aramaic. 

"We were taking Kabbalah classes," King told The View in 2017. "He said, let's choose three [designs] each and not tell each other which ones they are and whichever one is matching, that's the one we're going to get tattooed — and we both chose unconditional love."

Alexander Jr. dedicated a heartwarming tribute to his mother in 2021 on her 50th birthday. 

"Happy birthday to my co, so extremely proud of you and inspired by your love, artistry, and gangsta! To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for," he wrote on Instagram.

The 26-year-old also described his mother as "the greatest gift" he could ask for.

"To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable," he wrote. "The whole marvel universe ain't got s**t on you, you're the real superhero! Love you mom! This day and everyday YO DAY!!"