Late Bihop David O’Connell Late Bihop David O’Connell  (VICTOR ALEMAN)

Los Angeles police arrest suspect in connection with Bishop O’Connell murder

Police in the US city of Los Angeles announce the arrest of Carlos Medina, the husband of Bishop David O'Connell's housekeeper, in connection with the murder of the late Irish-born Auxiliary Bishop.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Police authorities in Los Angeles have arrested a 65-year-old man in connection with the weekend killing of Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell.

According to the Los Angeles Times, detectives have identified Carlos Medina, the husband of the victim’s housekeeper, as a suspect in the slaying. He was arrested on Monday and is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

Bishop O’Connell, 69, was found dead on Saturday afternoon with a gunshot wound to the chest in the bedroom of his home in Hacienda Heights, about 30 kilometers east of downtown Los Angeles.

The suspect

County Sheriff Robert Luna said detectives connected Medina to the crime from a surveillance video that showed a vehicle at Bishop O’Connell's house about the time of the killing. Weapons were found in his home in Torrance, and ballistic tests are pending. His wife has also been questioned.

Police are investigating the motive of the murder, which they say could be related to money. According to a police informant, the accused was acting irrationally and had made comments about O’Connell “owing him money.”

A good bishop and a man of peace

The late Bishop O’Connell was a native of County Cork, Ireland, and ordained to serve in the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1979, where for many years he focused on gang intervention, according to Angelus News, a local diocesan news platform.  

He later sought to broker peace between residents and law enforcement following the violent 1992 uprising after a jury acquitted four white LA police officers in the brutal beating of Rodney King.

In recent years, he also spearheaded Catholic efforts in the region to work with immigrant children and families from Central America.

Pope Francis appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles on 21 June 2015.

His violent death has caused shock and sadness in the Catholic community of Los Angeles, but also in his native Cork.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez on Monday described him as “a good priest and a good bishop and a man of peace” who showed “compassion to the poor, to the homeless, immigrants, and to all those living on society’s margins.”

“We’re very sad to lose him”, he added, expressing his gratitude to the investigative team “for their hard work in bringing the suspect into custody.”

Bishop Fintan Gavin, of Cork and Ross in Ireland, said in a statement that the late bishop “had always maintained his connection with family and friends in Cork” through frequent visits back to Ireland.

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21 February 2023, 11:34