Los Angeles County Police Shot And Killed A Catholic Bishop
Just blocks from a cathedral, a Catholic bishop in Southern California was shot and killed on Saturday, shocking the Los Angeles religious community and killing a lifelong priest who had been lauded as a “peacemaker.” Bishop David O’Connell’s death is being looked into by detectives as a possible homicide, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The authorities have not disclosed the bishop’s identity as a target or if his faith had a role in the killing. The shooter, or shooters, are still on the loose.
According to CBS Los Angeles, LASD Murder Bureau Detective Michael Modica stated, “It’s extremely early in the investigation.” “We still have a lot of steps to do before we can fully understand what is going on.” O’Connell, 69, was an Irish native who had served as a priest for 45 years, according to Angelus News, the archdiocese’s news source. In 2015, Pope Francis appointed him as one of several auxiliary bishops for the country’s most enormous diocese, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
According to Angelus News, O’Connell spent years working in South Los Angeles and concentrated on gang intervention. After the bloody rebellion of 1992, when a jury convicted four white LA police officers of beating a Black man named Rodney King, he later tried to mediate peace between locals and the police. O’Connell led Catholic initiatives in the area to engage with immigrant children and families from Central America in recent years. About two decades later, the community of the San Gabriel Valley came together to restore a mission after an arson assault.
According to deputies, O’Connell was shot in his home, and his death is “mysterious,” according to CBS Los Angeles:
I received last night the devastating news that my dear friend, Bishop David O’Connell, has died. Bishop Dave and I were ordained auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles seven years ago. pic.twitter.com/GWrgLY1hPX
— Bishop Robert Barron (@BishopBarron) February 19, 2023
Around 1 p.m. on Saturday, O’Connell was discovered in Hacienda Heights with a gunshot wound. On hearing of a medical emergency, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the region, just a few blocks from the O’Connell archdiocese’s St. John Vianney Catholic Church. According to the sheriff’s office, he was pronounced dead at the site by paramedics. According to the archbishop, O’Connell resided in Hacienda Heights, an unincorporated area 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of the heart of Los Angeles.
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According to deputies, O’Connell was shot in his home, and his death is “mysterious,” according to CBS Los Angeles. On Sunday, O’Connell was honored during masses held in congregations across the area. Behind police tape in Hacienda Heights, neighbors and churchgoers prayed the rosary and left flowers and candles. In a vigil held on Sunday afternoon outside a section of the neighborhood that was cordoned off as a crime scene, about 50 people prayed and sang.
Gil, a mother of seven, would frequently discuss her children and faith with O’Connell throughout the years. She added that she initially believed he had passed away from a heart attack or other medical emergency, saying, “I’ve never felt more understood by anyone in this world.” She was shocked to learn of his death because O’Connell had only presided over her son’s confirmation the previous year. The priest’s passing stunned the Irish diocese of Cork and Ross, where O’Connell was born. O’Connell “has always maintained his relationship with family and friends in Cork” through regular trips back to Ireland, according to Bishop Fintan Gavin.
Who Is Bishop David Oconnell?
David Gerard O’Connell (August 16, 1953 – February 18, 2023) was an Irish-born prelate of the Catholic Church who was an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in California from 2015 until he died in 2023. He served in the Los Angeles area for the entirety of his career as a priest.
How Old Was Bishop David O Connell?
Deputies identified the victim as David O’Connell, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. An Ireland native, O’Connell was 69 years old. He was named to the position by Pope Francis in 2015.
What Was Bishop Shot In LA?
The department said that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies, responding to an emergency medical call, found the Roman Catholic bishop, David O’Connell, at his home with a gunshot wound around 1 p.m.. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the authorities said.
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