Suspect in shooting death of L.A. Catholic bishop identified

Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell
Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell Photo credit Diocese of Los Angeles/Facebook

HACIENDA HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KNX) – The suspect arrested in the shooting death of 69-year-old Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been identified.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the suspect as 65-year-old Carlos Medina. Medina is the husband of O'Connell's housekeeper. Luna said detectives received tips that Medina was heard making comments that O'Connell allegedly owed him money. Investigators were told that the suspect had left the county and may have traveled to the Central California area; however, on early Monday morning, they were told that Medina had returned homes.

This led to an hours-long standoff situation in Torrance where Medina was eventually arrested,

Detectives also looked at surveillance footage, which showed a dark-colored compact SUV pulling into the driveway of O'Connell's home then leaving. Medina is believed to have been seen driving a similar car. Luna said there was no sign of forced entry into O'Connell's home and that O'Connell had at least one gunshot wound to the upper body.

Luna also noted that two firearms were recovered at the house but that both need to be tested to see if they were used in the shooting.

Luna said it's believed Medina also did some work at the house in the past.

On Saturday around 1 p.m., deputies responded to a shooting in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue in Hacienda Heights, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder. Bishop O'Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on through the community that he helped build,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement, adding that they are working to find those responsible for the murder.

Archbishop Gomez and the Diocese of Los Angeles released a statement, remembering O’Connell.

“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,” Archbishop Gomez said.

“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.”

O’Connell was named to the position in 2015 by Pope Francis according to KCAL. A native of Ireland, O’Connell served the Los Angeles Archdioceses since 1979, KTLA said.

Outside the home, O’Connell’s legacy was remembered.

“Obviously a sad moment, suffering a great loss,” one mourner told KNX News.

One woman recalled a time O’Connell gave her money to help a man whose car was about to be taken away.

“He gave me $400 to give to this man,” the woman recalled. “So he was a man of great heart.”

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Diocese of Los Angeles