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President Obama extended sympathies Tuesday to the family of the unarmed 18-year-old man killed by police on Saturday, and urged calm in the St. Louis suburb that has seen unrest in the days since the shooting.

"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 a written statement.

The president noted that the Department of Justice is investigating along with local officials, and "they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed."

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Since the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., police and protesters -- many of them African-American, as was Brown -- have clashed repeatedly, and officers have employed rubber bullets and tear gas.

"I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions," Obama said, "but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

He added: "Along with our prayers, that's what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve."

Law enforcement and county officials discuss their investigation of the police shooting that killed Michael Brown. VPC

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