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SOURCES: Person of interest detained in shooting death of LA Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell

LA Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell

February 20, 2023

HACIENDA HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A person of interest has been detained in the shooting death of an auxiliary bishop in Hacienda Heights, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to ABC News.

Additional details about the person detained were not released, but a press conference was expected some time Monday.

Bishop David O’Connell was found dead over the weekend in Hacienda Heights. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to a medical emergency call on the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue just before 1 p.m. Saturday.

O’Connell was found in the room of a home with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. The 69-year-old, who was a priest and later a bishop with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 45 years, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Sunday, authorities announced that the death was being investigated as a murder, but did not provide any information on a possible suspect or motive.

Shortly following the announcement from authorities, Archbishop José H. Gomez released the following statement:

“We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office that they have determined that the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell yesterday was a homicide. We are deeply disturbed and saddened by this news.

Let us continue to pray for Bishop Dave and his family. And let us pray for law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation into this terrible crime.”

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.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about the death is urged to call homicide detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.