BATON ROUGE - Vice President Joe Biden says the gunman's bullets that killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge also targeted the country and "touched the soul of an entire nation."
During a memorial service Thursday at a Baton Rouge church, Biden spoke directly to relatives of the fallen officers. He promised them that a day will come when the memory of their loved ones will "bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
An Army veteran from Kansas City, Missouri, killed the officers less than two weeks after protests erupted in Baton Rouge over the death of Alton Sterling, a 29-year-old black man who was shot and killed during a scuffle with two white police officers.
Biden said he heard that Sterling's aunt embraced the father of one of the slain officers during a chance encounter after the shooting. He said they prayed together because "loss is loss is loss."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Americans can pay tribute to the sacrifices of three slain law enforcement officers by standing together in unity and rejecting resentment and anger.
Lynch said it can feel as if the world is "broken beyond repair" after tragedies like the July 17 shooting. But she said the gathering shows the community is united by "collective heartache" and a "common humanity."
Lynch is scheduled to remain in Baton Rouge through Friday afternoon to meet with local police officials and other first responders.