When deputies and paramedics arrived at O’Connell’s residence at the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue, Hacienda Heights, on Feb. 18, they discovered him with “at least” one gunshot wound to his upper body while in his bedroom, Luna said.
Luna said there was no evidence of a “forced entry” or “burglary” and added that no firearm was found at the scene.
Two firearms “and other evidence” possibly incriminating Medina were found at his residence in Torrance during his arrest at approximately 8:15 on Monday morning, the sheriff said.
Those firearms will be examined and tested in a crime lab to determine if they were used in the murder.
Luna said that he believed it was a deacon who called police after discovering that O’Connell had been shot. He had gone to check on the bishop when he had failed to show up for a scheduled meeting.
Several local officials and politicians spoke at the press conference, including Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who broke into tears and struggled to complete his brief comments on Bishop O’Connell.
“Out of his love for God, he served this city for more than 40 years,” Gomez said.
“Every day he worked to show compassion to the poor, to the homeless, to the immigrant, and to all those living on society’s margins. He was a good priest and a good bishop and a man of peace, and we are very sad to lose him,” Gomez said.
This story was updated Feb. 20 to reflect LASD's correction of Medina's age, which is 61. The price of Medina's bail was also added.
Joseph Bukuras is a journalist at the Catholic News Agency. Joe has prior experience working in state and federal government, in non-profits, and Catholic education. He has contributed to an array of publications and his reporting has been cited by leading news sources, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Catholic University of America. He is based out of the Boston area.