A Catholic bishop in Los Angeles who was known as a ‘peacemaker’ was found dead in his home on Saturday in what authorities are calling a possible homicide.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) detectives are investigating the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell as a murder after he was found dead from a gunshot wound in his Hacienda Heights home.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to O’Connell’s home on Saturday afternoon around 1pm on a report of a medical emergency. Paramedics eventually pronounced him dead at the scene from a gunshot wound.
Just a day later, the LASD announced that O’Connell’s death was being investigated as a homicide.
The police have not revealed many details about the investigation, and could not say if O’Connell was targeted because of his religion or position within the church.
O’Connell, a native of County Cork, Ireland, spent his entire career ministering in Los Angeles. He was known to focus on gang violence and hailed as a ‘peacemaker’ who helped negotiate an end to the Rodney King riots in 1992.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said he was ‘deeply disturbed and saddened’ after detectives informed him of O’Connell’s possible murder.
‘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 stated.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna also called O’Connell a ‘peacemaker,’ and praised his ‘passion serving those in need while improving our community.’
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also said he was ‘saddened’ to hear of O’Connell’s death.
‘He was a friend of many years and part of a prayer group that I participated in throughout the COVID pandemic,’ Garcetti stated on Twitter. ‘This city has lost one of its most beautiful angels.’
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