The tragic death of David O’Connell, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, shook the Catholic community on Saturday. The 69-year-old died when he was shot in the upper torso.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a press statement that homicide detectives were summoned to a shooting incident at 12:57 p.m. on the 18th of February, 2023, in a home in Hacienda Heights, California. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are still searching for the suspect, whose identity is still unknown. Police are investigating this as a homicide as suicide has been ruled out. No further details of his death have been given.
Archbishop José H. Gomez expressed his grief and admiration for O’Connell in a statement, which highlighted his dedication to being a peacemaker, his care for the poor and immigrants, as well as his protection of human life.
O’Connell had devoted 45 years to the LA Catholic community. He was born in Ireland and ordained in All Hallows College in Dublin before coming to California in 1979.
He served as an associate pastor of numerous LA parishes and chaired the Interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, which helps immigrant children and families from Central America.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Janice Hahn, mourned the Bishop’s death. She said in a social media post, “I was very sad to learn of the passing of Bishop O’Connell. He was a longtime friend. I was fortunate to work with him during my time on the city council and again as Supervisor. I join with Archbishop Gomez and the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in mourning his loss.”