Linda Dakin-Grimm, an immigration lawyer in California, tweeted a photo of O’Connell with one of her young clients.
“Bishop Dave, who was shot to death in his home today, was there for every child and family I have represented. Always,” she tweeted. “Helping, supporting and generally being the face of Jesus for me and many many others.”
Sister Norma Pimentel, the director of Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley known for her work with migrants on the Texas-Mexico border, also shared a photo of O’Connell on Twitter, calling him “truly a man of God.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department posted a statement on Facebook Sunday addressed to the grieving South L.A. community. “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 statement said.
“Please know that you are not alone in your grief and that @lasdhq is here to support you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we are working diligently to seek those responsible.”
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Those who prefer to provide information anonymously may call Crime Stoppers by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use their smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
Shannon Mullen is the Editor-in-Chief of CNA. He previously worked as a features writer, investigative reporter, and editor with the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press. He has received numerous national reporting awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.