Washington, Dec 21: US President Barack Obama today appealed to fellow Americans to reject violence and words that harmed others and turn to words that heal, hours after a lone black gunman killed two uniformed New York police officers.
Unconditionally condemning the killing of Wenjin Liu, a seven-year veteran of the New York Police Department, and Raphael Ramos, who joined the force two years ago, Obama said there was "no justification" for their slaying.
"I unconditionally condemn today's murder of two police officers in New York City. Two brave men won't be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification," Obama said in a statement.
"Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal," Obama, who is now on a vacation in Hawaii, said.
"Officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day," he added.
The 28-year-old gunman, identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a black man, had driven over 300 km from Baltimore to New York.
US authorities said he had written in social media posts that he planned to kill police officers in the wake of the deaths of two blacks, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, by police officers.
"Although we're still learning the details, it's clear that this was an assassination, that these officers were shot execution style," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.