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story.lead_photo.caption Gregory Bush, right, is arraigned on two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Bush fatally shot two African-American customers at a Kroger grocery store Wednesday and was swiftly arrested as he tried to flee, authorities said Thursday. (Scott Utterback /Courier Journal via AP, Pool)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A police chief has acknowledged that the killings of two black people at a Kroger grocery store were racially motivated, days after the FBI announced that it is investigating the shootings as a potential federal hate crime.

The Courier Journal reports Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers told the congregation at First Baptist Church on Sunday that racism is "the elephant in the room" of this case.

Civil rights activists in Kentucky are calling for a hate crime prosecution of Gregory Bush, who is being held on state murder charges in last week's shootings of two shoppers in the store outside Louisville. Both victims were black. Bush is white.

Police said Bush tried to break into First Baptist, a predominantly African-American church, shortly before the shooting.

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