Murder Probe Launched In Fatal Shooting Of Bishop In Los Angeles

The Los Angeles religious community was shocked on Saturday when a Catholic bishop in southern California who had been praised as a “peacemaker” was shot and died a few streets from a church.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the death of Bishop David O’Connell was being looked into as a possible homicide.

Officials remained mum on whether the bishop was a target. The sheriff’s office declined to disclose how or where his body was discovered. The suspect/s have not been apprehended.

O’Connell, 69, was an Irishman who had served as a priest for 45 years. In 2015, Pope Francis appointed him as one of several auxiliary bishops of the largest US diocese, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

O’Connell spent several years working in South Los Angeles and specialized in gang intervention. After a jury found four white police officers not guilty of beating a Black man named Rodney King in 1992, there was unrest and he attempted to mediate peace between the community and the police.

O’Connell rallied the San Gabriel Valley to restore a mission after an arson assault over two decades later.

Around 1pm on Saturday, O’Connell was discovered in Hacienda Heights with a gunshot wound. A few blocks from the O’Connell archdiocese’s St. John Vianney Catholic Church, sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene.

O’Connell was pronounced dead at the site by paramedics, according to the sheriff’s office. O’Connell was said to reside in Hacienda Heights by the archbishop, although it was unclear right away whether he was discovered there or somewhere else.




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