Arrest made in death of Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell: reports


An arrest has been made in connection to the death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, reports say.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday morning a man in the city of Torrance was an arrested, citing a law enforcement source. ABC News also confirmed the arrest, adding authorities are expected to release more details about the arrest at a news conference in the afternoon. 

The Los Angeles Times added sources said the suspect is linked to a woman with access to the bishop’s home in Hacienda Heights, about 25 miles northeast of Torrance. 

USA TODAY has reached out to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for more information.

The reported arrest comes less than 24 hours after authorities said the death of the high-ranking Catholic Church was being investigated as a homicide.

What we know about Bishop David O’Connell’s shooting death

Homicide detectives arrived at the home in Hacienda Heights, about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Saturday afternoon to respond to a “shooting death investigation,” where O’Connell was found with a gunshot wound and pronounced dead at the scene. 

O’Connell, who was from Ireland, was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979, the Vatican News reported, before Pope Francis appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles in June 2015.

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a statement Sunday he was “deeply disturbed and saddened” to learn O’Connell’s death was being investigated as a homicide and asked for prayers for his family. 

“He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected,” Gomez said in a statement Saturday. “He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly.”

Masses at churches across the region were dedicated to O’Connell on Sunday. Neighbors and parishioners left flowers and candles and prayed the rosary next to police tape in Hacienda Heights. About 50 people prayed and sang in a vigil Sunday afternoon near part of the neighborhood surrounded by crime scene tape.

Contributing: Associated Press

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

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