The fatal shooting of an auxiliary Roman Catholic bishop with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was identified as a murder after cops ruled out suicide, according to officials and reports.
David O’Connell, 69, who was found dead in his Hacienda Heights home with a gunshot wound to the chest Saturday afternoon will be remembered as a “guiding light,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
“We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder,” the post stated. “Bishop O’Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on through the community that he helped build.”
Investigators are “working diligently to seek those responsible,” the office added. Suicide was ruled out in the case, according to an ABC News reporter who cited the sheriff’s office.
AUXILIARY BISHOP DAVID O’CONNELL SHOT AND KILLED IN CALIFORNIA
His death was previously confirmed by Archbishop José H. Gomez during Mass on Saturday.
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“Our beloved Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell has passed away unexpectedly,” he said. “It’s a shock and I have no words to express my sadness.
O’Connell was a priest and then bishop in LA for 45 years, Gomez said, calling him a “peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant.”
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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.”
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O’Connell was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015. He was born in Ireland.
The sheriff’s office added on Facebook that the department’s “thoughts and prayers are with” those grieving and “that @lasdhq is here to support you.”
Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.