California Catholic Bishop Found Shot Dead: Police
Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell, 69, was found dead in the room of a home on the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue around 1 p.m. Saturday, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Michael Modica said.
Industry sheriff’s deputies were responding to a medical emergency call when they found O’Connell who appeared to have been shot in the upper torso.
The incident is being investigated as a murder.
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez released a statement after the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Information Bureau determined it was a homicide. It read in part:
“We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office that they have determined that the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell yesterday was a homicide. We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news.
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.
We ask Our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede and be a mother for all of us in this moment of sadness and pain.”
O’Connell was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1953 and was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He served as a priest and bishop in LA County for more than 45 years.
O’Connell was the chairman of the interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, as well as the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H.Gomez said in a statement.