Michael McDonald, who grew up in Ferguson, Mo., has issued a statement on the tragedy that has shaken the city over the past couple weeks.

In a lengthy post, the former Doobie Brothers singer and songwriter writes that he is praying for the family of Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black kid who was shot by police six times on Aug. 9. McDonald said he is also praying for his hometown, "to which I still feel a strong connection."

Ferguson, which is located near St. Louis, has erupted in violence since the shooting. Missouri's governor declared a state of emergency, and controversial actions by the police -- including launching tear-gas attacks on peaceful protesters -- have made front-page news.

Here's McDonald's statement in full:

"As someone who spent his first 18 yrs in the St. Louis area, (14 of them in Ferguson Mo. ), I pray for the family of Michael Brown and the entire community that is originally my home town to which I still feel a strong connection.
I pray this tragic event and the still greater issue that it heralds will be faced and dealt with in an honest and responsible manner by the residents of Ferguson and the people in its leadership positions. That whatever appropriate federal agency is needed to investigate this tragic incident properly, will be deployed post haste to address the questions and frustrations of this community as satisfactorily as is possible, and although nothing can restore this young mans life, I pray that Ferguson can hold together as a community who's common interest is justice. No matter what that looks like in the end.
However on a larger landscape, mustn't we ask ourselves why we're hearing more and more about the incidents of young black males being gunned down by law enforcement not just in my home town of Ferguson Mo. But all over this country.
What I think needs to be honestly examined by the larger national community, is the difference between what constitutes a valid reason for use of deadly force when a young white male is the suspected perpetrator of a crime and what those standards seem to be when the suspect is African American.
Seems to me, we don't hear of many incidents of young unarmed white males being gunned down for running away from police, or even for resisting arrest.
In this and all individual cases we must look to forensics and eyewitness accounts to try and get to the truth. However, I don't think that this is the time for any of us to ignore this obvious discrepancy.
How many tragic losses of this nature must we endure before we're called to conscience on this issue." - Michael

Even though McDonald was born in St. Louis, he grew up in Ferguson, where he attended school and played in local bands. The Grammy-winning singer relocated to Los Angeles when he was 18.

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