Suspect arrested in connection with murder of Bishop David O’Connell

Bishop David O'Connell Bishop David O'Connell. | Credit: KTLA screenshot

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the Feb. 18 shooting homicide of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) said Monday.

A press conference will be held at 3 p.m. PST.

Prior to the arrest, there was a standoff between the subject and law enforcement in the city of Torrance, Sergeant Cueva, who declined to give his first name, told CNA Monday. Cueva is the watch commander at the LASD Carson Station.

Torrance is about a 45-minute drive southwest from Hacienda Heights, where O’Connell was found dead.

The LASD said in a statement Sunday that they responded to a medical emergency call around 12:57 p.m. on Saturday at the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue, Hacienda Heights.

When authorities arrived, they discovered O’Connell with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An anonymous law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times that O’Connell, 69, was found deceased in his bed with one gunshot wound.

The LASD could not confirm to CNA on Monday whether O’Connell was killed in his own home, although several local media reports have reported that it was his home.

Citing “multiple law enforcement sources,” the LA Times reported that there were no signs of “forced entry” into the home where O’Connell was killed, and added that “the crime was not believed to be random.”

A native of Ireland, O’Connell was named a bishop by Pope Francis in 2015. He ministered to immigrants, the poor, and victims of gang violence for 45 years in the South Los Angeles area. 

This story was updated on Feb. 20, 2023, at 2:07 p.m. EST with the new time of the press conference.

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