Prominent Catholic bishop shot dead

David O’Connell, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was tragically killed on Saturday when he was shot in the upper torso. He was 69 years old.

Archbishop José H. Gomez shared his grief in a statement, saying that O’Connell was “a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant” and had “a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honored and protected.”

Detectives are actively searching for the suspect, who has not yet been identified.

O’Connell had been a part of the LA Catholic community for 45 years and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop by Pope Francis in 2015.

He was born in Ireland and studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin before coming to California in 1979. He was an associate pastor at many LA parishes. Additionally, O’Connell was the chairman of the Interdiocesan Southern California Immigration Task Force, which helps children and families who immigrated from Central America.

Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, shared her sorrow for the Bishop’s death. “I was very sad to learn of the passing of Bishop O’Connell,” she said. “He was a longtime friend. I was fortunate to work with him during my time on the city council and again as Supervisor. I join with Archbishop Gomez and the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in mourning his loss.”