The shooting death of a Los Angeles Catholic bishop is being investigated as murder, police said. In the Hacienda Heights neighborhood on Saturday afternoon, Bishop David O’Connell, 69, passed away.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue at around 12:57 p.m. after they got a medical emergency call, authorities said in a statement.
O’Connell was found with a gunshot wound and pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, authorities said. The incident is being investigated as a murder.
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O’Connell, originally from Ireland, spent 45 years in Los Angeles as a priest before becoming a bishop, according to the Catholic news site Angelus News.
Known fondly as “Bishop Dave,” O’Connell was the “episcopal vicar for the archdiocese’s San Gabriel Pastoral Region since 2015, when Pope Francis named him an auxiliary bishop,” According to Angelus. O’Connell chose southern Los Angeles to assist in reducing hostilities between locals and law police.
“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,” Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles said in a statement Saturday. “He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said O’Connell “had a passion [for] serving those in need while improving our community.” The sheriff’s department called O’Connell on Twitter “a guiding light for so many” and said it is “working diligently to seek those responsible for his death.”
Emma is a Master of Science candidate at the California Institute of Technology. Since approximately four years ago, she has been a freelance writer, producing content for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and the internet