Statement by Attorney General Holder on Murders in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Friday regarding the tragic killings of three university students this week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

“Like all Americans, I was shocked and saddened by this week’s heinous murders of three young people in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  I join President Obama in offering my deep sympathies to the friends and loved ones of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

“In addition to the ongoing local investigation, I have made available the full resources of the Department of Justice to help ensure that justice will be served in this case.  The Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, have opened a parallel preliminary inquiry to determine whether any federal laws, including hate crime laws, were violated.

“Protecting the safety and securing the civil rights of everyone in this country is, and must always remain, a top priority for today’s Department of Justice.  We will never waver in this commitment.  And going forward, we pledge to stand with the families of these three remarkable young people – and with all whose lives were touched by this tragedy – as they begin the long road to healing.”