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President Obama Calls Shooting of Missouri Teen 'Heartbreaking'

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 20:39:26 +0000

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said Tuesday that the police shooting death of unarmed Missouri teen Michael Brown was "heartbreaking," while urging those who are upset over the incident to remain calm.

Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot multiple times and killed Saturday by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer. The days since the shooting have been marked by tense standoffs between Brown's supporters and heavily-armed police officers, along with riots and looting of stores on Sunday night.

"The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time," Obama said.

"I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding," the president said in a statement. "We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve."

Obama emphasized that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice will be investigating the shooting, as well as local police in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Earlier on Tuesday, local authorities confirmed that the cause of Michael Brown's death was the multiple gunshot wounds he sustained, though the larger part of the investigation remains to determine the manner of his death -- the circumstances that led to the gunshots being fired.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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