Los Angeles Archdiocese Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home on Saturday. When police arrived at O’Connell’s home, they found him dead from a single gunshot wound to the upper torso. Los Angeles detectives are investigating the death as a homicide as parishioners mourn the man described as a “guiding light for so many.” “It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” Archbishop of Los Angeles José H Gomez said in a statement announcing O’Connell’s death.
On Monday morning, a man was arrested in connection to the homicide who is believed to be the husband of the bishop’s housekeeper, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said. During a news conference, Luna identified the man as Carlos Medina, 65, of Torrance. Police surrounded Medina’s home for an hours long standoff after the suspect refused to surrender. The standoff continued for several hours until Medina finally gave himself up and was taken into custody after 8:15 a.m., Luna said.
Surveillance video from nearby showed a dark compact SUV pull into the driveway of O’Connell’s home around the time the shooting is believed to have occurred.
Medina owns a vehicle matching that description, Luna added.
In Medina’s home, authorities found two firearms and additional evidence that linked him to the crime.
“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.”
According to the Los Angeles Times:
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.
More than a hundred people gathered in prayer next to O’Connell’s Hacienda Heights home Sunday night, now the site of both a crime scene and a growing memorial.
Gomez’s statement went on to pay tribute to the beloved O’Connell, “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.”