A local Catholic church official was shot and killed in Los Angeles County, California, on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s department.
David O’Connell, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was fatally shot in the incident in Hacienda Heights, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The shooting occurred at around 1 p.m. local time in the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue.
Deputies responded to the shooting and when they arrived at the scene, they discovered O’Connell suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
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O’Connell was shot in his home, according to deputies. The incident remains under investigation.
“It’s very early in the investigation,” sheriff’s department Homicide Bureau Detective Michael Modica said, according to KCAL. “We got a lot more steps we have to take to make more determination to what’s happening.”
Investigators have not provided any suspect information.
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O’Connell, 69, was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015.
He served the Los Angeles area for more than 45 years. O’Connell had also served as the Episcopal Vicar of the San Gabriel Pastoral Region.
Archbishop José H. Gomez announced the news during Mass on Saturday.
“Our beloved Auxiliary Bishop David O’Conell has passed away unexpectedly,” he said. “It’s a shock and I have no words to express my sadness. As a priest and later a bishop here in Los Angeles for forty-five years, Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother. 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.”
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“He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly. I know we all will,” Gomez continued. “Please join me in praying for Bishop Dave and for his family in Ireland. May Our Lady of Guadalupe wrap him in the mantle of her love, and may the angels lead him into paradise, and may he rest in peace.”