Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) on Wednesday apologized for last week's murder of Chris Lane, an Australian student enrolled in Oklahoma's East Central University, who was killed by three teenagers.
Cole said he was "particularly distressed" that the murder was committed against someone from Australia, a strong U.S. ally.
"It is with sadness that I offer my sincere sympathy and send my prayers to the family and friends of Chris Lane as they grieve the loss of a loved individual," he said. "To our dear friends in Australia, I extend my profound apology for this senseless, brutal crime that sadly occurred in my state and district."
According to local police reports, one of the teens admitted they murdered Lane because they were "bored."
The murder has sparked controversy over the issue of race, as Lane was white while two of the three teens who assailed him were black.
Some conservatives have criticized President Obama to failing to denounce the murder, and have noted that he quickly spoke out against the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager in Florida.
Asked about the incident Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it sounded like a “tragic case,” but refused to say more citing the legal process.