LA bishop shot and killed in Hacienda Heights

Awful news. May he rest in peace. :pray:

An auxiliary bishop with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was shot to death Saturday afternoon in Hacienda Heights, authorities confirmed.

Bishop David O’Connell was shot and killed just before 1 p.m. inside a home in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators said O’Connell, who was a priest and later a bishop in L.A. for 45 years, was found in a room with a gunshot wound to his upper torso.

The sheriff’s department said detectives are investigating this as a suspicious death though no further details were released.

Information regarding a suspect or suspects was also not immediately released.

Earlier on Saturday, Archbishop José H. Gomez released a statement on O’Connell’s death, saying he had “passed away unexpectedly.”

“It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” read the statement.

"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.

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."

O’Connell, who was born in Ireland in 1953, was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015.

He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained to serve in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979. After ordination, he served as associate pastor in several parishes and as pastor at several parishes in L.A.

He was the chairman of the Interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, helping coordinate the church’s response to immigrant children and families from Central America.

Further information makes the tragedy all the more senseless. The handyman claimed that the bishop owed him money. At this point it seems little else explains why he came up on the bishop asleep in his bed, and shot him dead.

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