Los Angeles bishop’s death being investigated as a homicide

O’Connell, 69, had been a priest for 45 years and was a native of Eire, according to Angelus News, the archdiocese’s news outlet. Pope Francis had named him considered one of a number of auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — the biggest within the nation — in 2015.

O’Connell labored in South Los Angeles for years and centered on gang intervention, Angelus Information reported. He later sought to dealer peace between residents and regulation enforcement following the violent 1992 rebellion after a jury acquitted 4 white LA cops within the beating of Rodney King, a Black man. Practically twenty years later, he introduced the San Gabriel Valley neighborhood collectively to rebuild a mission there after an arson assault.

O’Connell was present in Hacienda Heights round 1 p.m. Saturday with a gunshot wound. Sheriff’s deputies had been known as to the realm — simply blocks from the St. John Vianney Catholic Church, which is a part of O’Connell’s archdiocese — on a report of a medical emergency.


Paramedics pronounced him lifeless on the scene, the sheriff’s division stated. The archdiocese stated O’Connell lived in Hacienda Heights, however it was not instantly clear whether or not he was discovered at his residence or elsewhere.

About a dozen folks prayed the rosary subsequent to police tape late Saturday after information of O’Connell’s death broke.

“He didn’t maintain again his phrases. He was nicely spoken,” Jonny Flores advised the Los Angeles Occasions from exterior the crime scene. “He would take the time. He was very humble. He was by no means too busy.”

The sheriff’s division on Saturday initially solely stated homicide detectives had responded to “a capturing death investigation” with a male grownup sufferer. Authorities didn’t determine the sufferer as O’Connell till Sunday morning.

The LA County sheriff provided the company’s condolences, saying detectives are “dedicated to arresting these liable for this horrible crime.”

“He was a peacemaker and had a ardour serving these in want whereas enhancing our neighborhood,” Sheriff Robert Luna stated on Twitter.

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez initially solely stated O’Connell, who served within the metropolis for many years, “handed away unexpectedly” with out mentioning the violence. The archdiocese on Sunday referred media inquiries to the sheriff’s division.

“It’s a shock and I’ve no phrases to specific my disappointment,” Gomez stated in his authentic assertion Saturday, calling him “a good pal.”

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