Chilling Turn in Case of Catholic Bishop Found Dead in Own Home, Detectives Investigating the ‘Suspicious’ Death

A Catholic bishop was shot to death in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell was killed just before 1 p.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said, according to KABC-TV. The department said he was in a home in Hacienda Heights at the time.

O’Connell was found with a gunshot wound in the upper part of his torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. The department initially labeled the death “suspicious.”

“This incident is being handled as a murder investigation. There is no additional information available at this time,” the department said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.

“Bishop O’Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on through the community that he helped build,” the statement said.

Although no one was in custody Sunday, Sheriff’s Deputy Lizette Falcon said the public was not in any danger.

Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a statement that O’Connell’s death was “a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” according to KABC.

“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,” Gomez said.

“He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly. I know we all will. Please join me in praying for Bishop Dave and for his family in Ireland. May Our Lady of Guadalupe wrap him in the mantle of her love, and may the angels lead him into paradise, and may he rest in peace,” Gomez said.

An impromptu vigil was held Saturday after parishioners learned of O’Connell’s death.

Parishioner Glendy Perez told KABC O’Connell “was a humble soul.”

“He was not the type that would have confrontations with nobody,” she said. “He was very loving, and he had like a gift of healing. When you would attend his ceremonies, it was like a gift of healing.”

O’Connell was born in Ireland in 1953. He was ordained to serve in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979 and became an auxiliary bishop in 2015.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.