L.A. police have arrested 65-year-old Carlos Medina in connection with the shooting death of auxiliary bishop David O’Connell.
Bishop O’Connell (pictured) was discovered with a gunshot wound in his upper torso in the bedroom of his Hacienda Heights home on Saturday afternoon and was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Sunday morning, detectives received a tip about Medina, who was said to be acting “strange, irrational, and making comments about the bishop owing him money,” L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna said in a press briefing.
Sometime after 2:00am Monday morning, authorities surrounded Medina’s home and called for him to surrender but he refused. Then around 8:15 a.m. Medina finally exited his residence and was taken into custody without further incident, Luna said.
Police also recovered two firearms and other possible evidence, which Luna said would be examined to determine whether they were connected to the murder.
“We apprehended him by some amazing detective work,” Luna said. “Our next priority is to get him prosecuted.”
Medina is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper and had himself previously done work around the bishop’s residence, Luna declared, and he also drove an SUV similar to the one seen in surveillance footage pulling into O’Connell’s driveway.
Irish-born Bishop O’Connell had been a priest for 45 years and was named one of several auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope Francis in 2015.
Following the bishop’s death, L.A. Archbishop José Gomez released a statement, calling the murdered prelate a “peacemaker” with love for the poor and immigrants.
“It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” Archbishop Gomez said.
For his part, Sheriff Luna also lamented the bishop’s murder, calling him a “pillar in our community.”
“My heart grieves,” he told journalists. “Although I personally did not know the bishop, I cannot tell you how many phone calls I have gotten from people who have worked with him and this man, this bishop, made a huge difference in our community. He was loved. And it is very sad we’re gathered here today to talk about his murder.”
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