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Catholic Bishop Fatally Shot In California Home

On February 18, Catholic Bishop, David O’Connell, was murdered in his home in Hacienda Heights, California. He was found with one fatal gunshot wound in his upper torso around 1 pm. O'Connell was 69 years old. The Los Angeles sheriff's department is treating his death as a homicide.


61-year-old Carlos Medina was arrested Monday, February 20 as the primary murder suspect after police received a tip that narrowed down the search. His bail was set for $2 million. The investigation has yet to uncover a motive, and witnesses are still in the process of being interviewed. 


No gun was found at the crime scene, nor were there signs of false entry; however, after searching Medina’s home, two firearms were found that could be linked to the murder. Medina knew O’Connell and had done work at his home in the past, and Medina’s wife, Luna, was the bishop’s housekeeper. Nonetheless, Luna has been fully cooperative during the entire investigation and does not seem to be linked to the murder. 


The community is feeling his loss. O’Connell is known to have had a great impact on L.A.'s inner city, specifically with immigrant and homeless communities, and has been named by his community as a “peacemaker.” 


Chairwoman of the Los Angeles County board of supervisors, Janice Hahn, said, “He was known to walk among the people. He reached out to gang members; he reached out to the homeless; he reached out to the transients. He was the help of the helpless and the hope of the hopeless, and he knew that serving God meant serving man, especially the most vulnerable in our society.” 


Archbishop Jose H. Gomez is reported saying on O’Connell’s death, “It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness…Bishop was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother.” and “He was a good friend, and I will miss him greatly.” 


Many others have released similar statements of lamentation at O’Connell’s death, including Fabiola Montes, and Martha Orozco, who knew O’Connell by regularly attending Mass, and who called the events, “a tragedy,” and “very sad.” 


The investigation is still ongoing, and the community is awaiting closure to the tragic end of their beloved bishop. This case comes to show that a life of righteousness does not always mean a life without conflict or tragedy. While O’Connell’s life was an inspiration, his death is a reminder that there is still so much of the world that needs saving. But may we live by David O’Connell’s example, and give a hand to those in need.


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Tags: #murder #LosAngeles #peacemaker #suspect #bishop


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