Suspect Arrested in Murder of Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell

Suspect Arrested in Murder of Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has named a suspect linked to the murder of L.A.’s Catholic bishop.

The department named 65-year-old Carlos Medina of Torrance, Calif., “as the person of interest arrested in the fatal shooting of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell over the weekend,” the Daily Wire reported.

O’Connell, 69, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was gunned down at home in the Hacienda Heights suburb on Saturday just before 1 p.m., the department noted.

“This bishop made a huge difference in our community,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna said during a Monday night press conference. “He was loved, and it’s very sad that we’re gathered here today to talk about his murder in this way.”

According to Luna, a concerned individual provided a tip to detectives investigating the shooting. The tipster described a person of interest as “acting strange, irrational, and made comments about the bishop owing him money.” Medina is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper and had previously worked at the bishop’s residence.

O’Connell was found dead in his bed with a single gunshot wound on Saturday after a deacon from the church called 911 to check on the bishop, who had missed a scheduled meeting.

Law enforcement officials did not find any evidence of forced entry or a firearm at the scene. However, after reviewing neighborhood surveillance footage, detectives discovered a dark-colored compact SUV that had parked in the bishop’s driveway for a brief period before leaving the location.

On Sunday, authorities received information that the suspect, Medina, had left Los Angeles County and was believed to be in the Central California area. However, Medina returned to his home around 2:00 am on Monday, according to the sheriff.

Police surrounded Medina’s residence and called on him to surrender. He walked out of his home around 8 a.m. and was taken into custody.

“Although our priority before 8 am this morning was to apprehend the suspect — and we did by some amazing detective work,” Luna said. “Our next priority is to get him prosecuted.”

No motive for the murder has been released as of yet.

In 2015, Pope Francis appointed O’Connell as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles. The bishop played an important role as the chairman of the interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, which aided in responding to an influx of immigration from Central America in recent years. He also served as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

During his tenure as an associate pastor, O’Connell was devoted to assisting communities struggling with gang violence and poverty in southern Los Angeles.

“My heart grieves,” Luna said. “Although I personally did not know the bishop, I cannot tell you how many phone calls I’ve received over the last 48 hours from people who have worked with him in different capacities,” adding the bishop was a pillar in the Los Angeles community known for his peacemaking and passion for serving those in need.

Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez said that O’Connell was “a good friend to Los Angeles” during the press conference.

“Out of His love for God, he served the city for more than 40 years as an immigrant from Ireland,” Gomez noted. “Among the many things I admired in his life and ministry, he was fluent in Spanish with an Irish accent.”


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