President Obama offered his condolences Friday to the loved ones of three young Muslims fatally shot in North Carolina earlier this week, a shocking act of violence that many believe was motivated by anti-Muslim sentiments.

“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,” the president said in a statement. “Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones. As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family.”

The three people — Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 — were fatally wounded Tuesday near the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Craig Hicks, 46, has been detained for the attack and charged with three counts of murder.

Their deaths, which the president called “brutal and outrageous,” have drawn worldwide attention amid speculation that the attack was animated by prejudice. The motivation behind the shootings remains unknown but mental illness has been cited as a potential cause.

In his statement, the president reiterated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation  had opened an inquiry into the killings, which the bureau announced earlier Friday.

“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, before quoting Yusor. " 'It doesn’t matter where you come from.  There’s so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions – but here, we're all one.' "