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Man Arrested in the Shooting Death of L.A. Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell

Man Arrested in the Shooting Death of L.A. Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies found the bishop with a gunshot wound to his upper torso. O’Connell was known as “the peacemaker” for his work in the community in the wake of the 1992 riots.

We have been covering the escalating violence in the Los Angeles area, as well as the rest of California.

Another disturbing incident garnering much attention in the area is the death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, who appeared to have been shot to death in his own home. Police officials are investigating the death as a homicide.

“This incident is being handled as a murder investigation,” the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a brief statement. “There is no additional information available at this time.”

Sheriff’s deputies responding to a medical emergency call found the body of O’Connell, 69, who served as a priest and bishop in L.A. County for nearly half a century, at a home in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue in Hacienda Heights around 1 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said.

He had suffered a gunshot wound and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, sheriff’s officials said.

“We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news,” Archbishop José H. Gómez of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a statement Sunday. “Let us continue to pray for Bishop Dave and his family. And let us pray for law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation into this terrible crime.”

Detectives are attempting to piece together the circumstances of the homicide and determine the identity of O’Connell’s killer.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators said they received a medical emergency call at 12:57 p.m. Sunday and deputies responded to a home in the unincorporated neighborhood of Hacienda Heights. There, they found the 69-year-old O’Connell unresponsive and bleeding from a gunshot wound to the upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

No arrests have been announced.

It’s unclear how long O’Connell had been dead before sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home.

The police took a man into custody on Monday but have not released any details:

The suspect wanted in the shooting death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell was taken into custody during an operation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau, the sources said. The man was identified by detectives early in the investigation through an unnamed technical means, according to the sources, and was located and detained without incident.

O’Connell has been a priest, then bishop, during his 45 years of service with the Catholic Church. The local community is shocked by the violent death of a man known as “the peacemaker.”

Many were in shock of the news, with several citizens of the LA suburb where more than 80 percent of residents are either Hispanic of Asian questioning who would kill such a respected figure.

‘I was devastated to hear this,’ said Donna Marie, a local resident. ‘Everybody is kind of shocked right now because this kind of thing doesn’t happen around here.’

Jose Alvarez agreed, saying: ‘When I first heard the news, I thought he had a heart attack. I’m shocked it was through a gunshot.’

He said the auxiliary bishop was a man of the people. ‘The bishops are usually inaccessible,’ Alvarez explained. ‘A lot of times, they’re kind of hidden in an office, but he was but in parish doing a healing mass.’

The term “peacemaker” is an homage to O’Connell’s efforts to heal the community after the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

There, Bishop O’Connell ministered to a community afflicted by gang violence, poverty, broken families, as well as tensions between locals and members of Los Angeles Police Department and the LA Sheriff’s Department that eventually boiled over during the LA riots in 1992 that followed the beating of Rodney King by police officers.

The riots broke out during then-Father O’Connell’s first tour at St. Frances X. Cabrini (1988-98). Bishop O’Connell would later tell how he was in Washington, testifying before a panel on Capitol Hill about violence in urban America, when the riots started. He came home days later to find widespread destruction in much of his parish’s territory.

Apart from aiding neighborhood recovery efforts, Father O’Connell pushed to restore trust between the inner-city residents and law enforcement. He and other local faith leaders helped organize meetings with police officers in people’s homes and provide opportunities for dialogue and reconciliation.

As a pastor, Father O’Connell also saw firsthand the effect of broken families on the community. That inspired him to organize retreats for men — usually in the mountains — focusing on how to be good fathers and husbands, something he saw as key to the health of a community.

Los Angeles’ Catholic leaders are now organizing a special memorial mass for O’Connell.


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Subotai Bahadur | February 20, 2023 at 4:15 pm

I assume that in California, regardless of who killed him, or what motive is involved, that there is no possibility of it ever being deemed a hate crime because he is not only Christian clergy, but he is a Catholic.

Subotai Bahadur

    You assume incorrectly. Had the motive for the murder been the victim’s religion, there is no doubt that it would have been charged as a hate crime. I dare you to identify one state or jurisdiction where hate crime laws are not administered evenhandedly.

There is a war on Religion going on, can’t even imagine a reason to murder a Bishop other than that.

    gonzotx in reply to Skip. | February 20, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Unless someone was trying
    To steal from the church and the Bishop walked in

    henrybowman in reply to Skip. | February 21, 2023 at 12:04 am

    Three spaces on my bingo card are abortion fanatic, unhappy illegal, or cartel/coyote. Of course, I would think first of political crime, not basic economic crime… obviously, it also could have been someone looking to pawn a chalice.

Story up at Gateway Pundit guy arrested is hispanic … Wife worked for the Bishop

A caller told authorities that Medina, 65, was acting irrationally and had made comments about O’Connell “owing him money,” Luna said, adding that a motive in the killing remains under investigation.

This is horrific.. but the guy they arrested was connected to the Bishop through his housekeeper. Seems he was something of a nutter.

If not with a gun with a knife. Not a knife a cudgel. Then there is always the wholesale slaughter that can occur with the judicious use of gasoline in a well-planned killing event. No matter the method humans will always excel at killing. Apparently a part of the natural human condition that is exacerbated as a population grows ever-larger.

Humans are a pack animal and need a pack or tribe or other small grouping to be a vital part of and attain a critical sense of belonging. Create a huge fiasco such as diverse and multicultural USA and the killings increase endlessly.

The murderers wife is missing, who worked for the Bishop, and he’s been digging in his backyard at night

Coincidence? I think not!

He sounds mentally I’ll and
and probably delusional, maybe thoughts of them
Having an afire or plotting against him..

Now Ive written this twice and both times it’s been deleted? Why?

Is the third time the charm?

If the killer’s wife was the bishop’s housekeeper, this could be a plain old murder by a jealous husband.