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WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich calls the shooting death of a black Florida teen "a tragedy" and describes the man responsible as "a guy who'd found a hobby that's very dangerous."

George Zimmerman was part of a neighborhood watch group. He has claimed self-defense and invoked a Florida law that allows people to use deadly force instead of retreating during a fight. Gingrich says the alleged shooter likely violated the "Stand Your Ground" law.

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot Feb. 26 while walking through a Sanford, Fla., neighborhood. Local authorities initially were reluctant to prosecute. That decision has sparked protests across the nation. President Barack Obama weighed in Friday, as did Gingrich's Republican rivals.

Gingrich says local prosecutors are right to bring the case to a grand jury.

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