Washington: Stating that the murder of three Muslims in North Carolina earlier this week was "brutal and outrageous", the US President Barack Obama today voiced strong concern over religious and racial violence in the county.
"No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship," Obama said in a statement, in which he and the First Lady, Michelle offered their condolences to the victims' loved ones.
Obama said that the FBI has opened an inquiry into the brutal and outrageous murders of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday.
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with first- degree murder for the crime. Police say he shot the three victims over a long-standing parking dispute in the condominium complex where he lived.
The victims' family, however, alleged that they were gunned down because of their religion.
In addition to the ongoing investigation by local authorities, the FBI is taking steps to determine whether federal laws were violated, he said.
"As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family," Obama said, referring to the funeral of the three innocent victims yesterday which was attended by several thousand people.
"Whenever anyone is taken from us before their time, we remember how they lived their lives and the words of one of the victims should inspire the way we live ours," Obama said.
The FBI yesterday said that its preliminary inquiry into the crime seeks "to determine whether or not any federal laws were violated".
Chapel Hill police is also investigating whether religious or ethnic hatred motivated Hicks in anyway to murder the three victim