Authorities arrested a suspect Monday in connection to the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, multiple sources say.
O’Connell, 69, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was shot dead in his home in the suburb of Hacienda Heights.
Multiple media sources, including The Los Angeles Times, reported authorities arrested the suspect on Monday. Other sources reported the arrest happened following a hours long barricade in Torrance, CA.
BREAKING: Multiple sources telling @FoxNews that a suspect has been arrested in the shooting death of Bishop David O’Connell. The arrest came following a hours long barricade in Torrance, CA.
— Alexandria Hernandez (@AlexandriaHrndz) February 20, 2023
A spokesperson from The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told The Daily Wire O’Connell’s death is still under investigation and could not disclose further information.
Law enforcement sources told The Los Angeles Times that O’Connell was found dead in his bed on Saturday after a single gunshot wound. Other sources said no signs of forced entry at his home have been revealed and that the crime was not believed to be random.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said 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.
Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez said in a statement Saturday “I am very sad this afternoon to report that our beloved Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell has passed away unexpectedly.”
“It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” Gomez said. “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.”
“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,” he added.
Archbishop Gomez released a separate statement after learning on Sunday the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office determined that the death of O’Connell was a homicide.
“We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news,” Gomez said. “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.”
The sheriff’s department said on Twitter: “Bishop O’Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on.”
Bishop O’Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on.
You are not alone in your grief and that @lasdhq is here to support you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we are working diligently to seek those responsible for his death. pic.twitter.com/cIBzvzx0km
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) February 19, 2023
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.
During his time serving as an associate pastor, O’Connell focused part of his ministry on helping communities with gang violence and poverty in southern Los Angeles.