WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has made his first comments about the three young Muslims who were shot to death near a university campus — saying no one in America should ever be targeted "because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship."

Obama says in a statement that the FBI will determine whether federal laws were violated in what he calls "the brutal and outrageous murders."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reproached Obama and other senior officials for not speaking out against the killings of the three young Muslims.

Erdogan, lead of a Muslim nation, said during a news conference in Mexico Thursday that the U.S. administration should take a stance against the killings, saying their silence was "meaningful."

Police say the three were killed in the state of North Carolina on Tuesday — allegedly by their neighbor — in a long-running dispute over parking spaces. But some have questioned whether the violence was connected to their Muslim faith.

The FBI inquiry is running parallel to the local police homicide investigation.

The victims' families are demanding a hate-crime investigation.