Los Angeles Bishop Shot And Killed In His Home

A Catholic bishop was shot and killed in a Los Angeles suburb on Saturday.

David O’Connell, 69, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was shot dead in his home in the Los Angeles County suburb of Hacienda Heights Saturday afternoon. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the bishop’s death as suspicious, but few details were available.

“I am very sad this afternoon to report that our beloved Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell has passed away unexpectedly,” Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez said in a statement Saturday. “It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness.”

Born in Ireland, O’Connell served in the archdiocese since 1979, and was a stalwart in the local community, serving throughout Los Angeles. Gomez called him a good friend and asked that people pray for him.

“As a priest and later a bishop here in Los Angeles for forty-five years, Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother,” Gomez added. “He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told CBS Los Angeles that the shooting happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday. Deputies arrived and found a man with a gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was pronounced dead soon after.

“It’s very early in the investigation,” LASD Homicide Bureau Detective Michael Modica told CBS Los Angeles. “We got a lot more steps we have to take to make more determination to what’s happening.”

According to Angelus News, O’Connell attended seminary at All Hallows College in Dublin. Then-Father O’Connell became a prominent figure in Los Angeles during the 1992 riots, when he was serving as pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini. O’Connell aided community recovery efforts and served as a mediator between South L.A. residents and the police.

O’Connell was named Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015. He served as chairman of the interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, which helped respond to an influx of immigration from Central America in recent years. He was also chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

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