(Newsroom America) -- Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he was "shocked and saddened" to learn of the brutal murder of former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow.
Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot four times and killed by an unknown assailant in central Moscow on Friday evening, Russian state news agency Itar Tass reported.
Mr Kerry said Boris Nemtsov committed his life to a more democratic, prosperous, open Russia, and to strong relationships between Russia and its neighbors and partners, including the United States.
"He served his country in many roles – in the federal government, in the parliament, as Governor of Nizhniy Novgorod, and as a political leader and activist. In every post, he sought to reform and open Russia, and to empower the Russian people to have a greater say in the life of their country.
"His absence will be deeply felt in Russia and around the world. The United States urges the Russian authorities to act expeditiously to investigate and bring to justice those responsible," he said.
Russian authorities have launched a manhunt for the gunman.