Orrin Hatch on Synagogue Shooting: The Shooter’s Hatred ‘Has No Place in a Society Founded on the Ideal of Religious Freedom’

Orrin Hatch / Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) released a statement regarding Saturday's shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

"Today, my prayers are with the people of Pittsburgh. This horrific act of violence—perpetrated against a holy people on their holy day—reminds us of the reality of evil and the need to counter its influence with courage and love. The hatred in this man’s heart has no place in a society founded on the ideal of religious freedom," Hatch stated."

Earlier today, at least four people were killed, twelve shot, and three police officers injured during a a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. A "bearded heavy-set white male" was detained.

Police surrounded the synagogue after reports emerged of an active shooter at the building. The synagogue had been holding a shabbat service.

Michael Eisenberg, former president of the synagogue, police usually only provided security at the synagogue on high holidays.

"On a day like today, the door is open, it’s a religious service, you can walk in and out," Eisenberg said.

The suspect has been identified as Robert Bowers, according to a CNN report.

The gunman reportedly made anti-Semitic comments during the shooting.

"It's a very horrific crime scene," said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell D. Hissrich. "It's one of the worst I've seen."