Barack Obama: Death of Michael Brown Is 'Heartbreaking'

Barack Obama: Death of Michael Brown is 'Heartbreaking'
President Barack Obama issued a statement on Tuesday calling for "reflection and understanding" in the wake of Michael Brown's death. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Barack Obama said in a statement on Tuesday that the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black student in Missouri, was "heartbreaking." The statement comes after three days of demonstrations, rioting, and arrests have roiled the suburb of Ferguson, where Brown was killed on Saturday.

"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 in the statement.

"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," he continued. "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."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating Brown's death.