Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell was murdered Saturday in Hacienda Heights according to police, and the community is collectively mourning his loss.
O’Connell was pronounced dead on the scene after being found in his home with a severe wound in his upper torso, and the Los Angeles Police Department initially labeled the death “suspicious,” according to the Western Journal.
“This incident is being handled as a murder investigation. There is no additional information available at this time,” the department said.
“We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder,” a statement continued.
“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.”
A tweet from Fr. R.M. Vierling celebrated O’Connell for his work with the poor, as well as his devotion to pro-life activism.
Praying for the repose of the soul of Los Angeles auxiliary bishop, the Most Reverend David O’Connell, who was shot and killed yesterday. The bishop was noted for his work among the poor and disadvantaged, his pro-life activism, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May this… https://t.co/Ypz9MOzYEo pic.twitter.com/cBTLzewTTq
— Father V (@father_rmv) February 19, 2023
Archbishop José H. Gomez described O’Connell’s death as “a shock” according to KABC.
“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,” Gomez said.
“He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly. I know we all will. 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.”
Parishioners held a vigil Saturday quickly after learning of O’Connell’s tragic death.
I’m in Hacienda Heights where Bishop David O'Connell, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was shot to death earlier today. Parishioners gather at the scene of the crime to mourn and pray for their beloved leader pic.twitter.com/455uda1ZqD
— Clara Harter (@_ClaraHarter) February 19, 2023