Bishop David O’Connell: Authorities investigating motive behind killing of Los Angeles-area Catholic bishop

(CNN) Authorities in California are working to identify the motive that led to this Shot dead A Los Angeles-area Catholic bishop is mourning the loss of a beloved community leader over the weekend.

Associate Pastor David O’Connell, known as a peacemaker in his community, was shot and killed in his Hacienda Heights home, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said during a press conference Monday.

On Monday morning, authorities arrested Carlos Medina, and a tip later helped investigators narrow down their search, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

His wife, Medina, who is Bishop’s housekeeper, was taken into custody at her Los Angeles-area home in Torrance, California, after an hour-long standoff with police.

Medina, 65, had not been charged as of Monday, and authorities did not say what preliminary charges he currently faces. CNN is trying to determine if Medina has an attorney.

A tipster who led police to Medina told investigators that Medina was there Acting strangely, Bishop made comments about the payment, according to Luna, who noted that there was no dispute between the two.

“One thing we’ve heard so far is that the detectives will go out and verify whether it’s true or not,” Luna said, referring to the dispute over the money.

“Our investigation continues, which means interviewing more witnesses to get a better picture of what happened here.”

As authorities pieced together what led to the shooting death, their search of Medina’s home turned up two guns in addition to “other evidence linking Medina to the crime,” Luna said — though he did not elaborate on the evidence.

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The guns allegedly found at Medina’s home are being tested by the crime lab to determine if they were used in the shooting.

Before filming, Medina had done some work at Bishop’s house, but Luna did not elaborate on that type of work. Medina’s wife is also fully cooperating with investigators, Luna said.

“Even though I don’t know the bishop personally, my heart goes out,” Luna said. “This bishop made a huge difference in our community. He was loved.”

O’Connell, 69, was a pillar of the Los Angeles area, known for her compassionate and advocacy work for the immigrant community and other vulnerable groups, including the homeless and those in need.

Police at the home of Carlos Medina, accused of killing Bishop David O’Connell.

It’s unclear how the suspect got to Bishop’s home

The initial 911 call about O’Connell’s death Arrived just after 1pm on Saturday From a deacon who visited the Hacienda Heights home, 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Luna said during a press conference on Monday after the bishop did not show up for a meeting.

O’Connell was shot at least once in bed and was pronounced dead at the scene, with the exact time of death pending an investigation, Luna said. He also said that the police did not recover the gun from the spot.

At the time, police found no signs of forced entry into the home, and detectives were investigating how the home was gained access, Luna said.

Neither Medina nor his wife worked Saturday, according to Luna.

Upon further investigation, surveillance video captured a dark-colored SUV similar to the one Medina was driving. Recently Bishop pulled into the driveway and got out a short time later, Luna said.

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Luna did not say if it was the same SUV Medina regularly drives.

The bishop is considered the pillar of the community

O’Connell’s killing shocked the Los Angeles Catholic community, some of whom expressed disbelief over the tragedy and remembered him as a man who brought people together.

At a news conference Monday, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez said the community was saddened by the loss of O’Connell.

“Every day he worked to show mercy to the poor, the homeless, the immigrants and all those living on the margins of society. He was a good priest and a good bishop and a quiet man,” Gomez said.

O’Connell is also known for his work with the immigrant community, including serving as interim chairman of the Southern California Immigration Task Force, which helped coordinate the local church’s response to recent immigrants from Central America. According to AngelusArchdiocese news site.

“For me, it’s really been a labor of love,” He said in 2019 Referring to the task force, he said, “Because I think that’s what our schools and parishes are all about. Not just unaccompanied minors, but all our kids. There’s an epidemic of hurting kids, even the ones who are too much. . . . They feel like we’ve abandoned them. Immigrant youth have become a metaphor for our entire community. .”

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Janice Hahn said Monday that Bishop was a longtime friend of hers.

“He was known to walk among people,” Hahn said. “He reached out to gang members; he reached out to the homeless; he reached out to the unstable. He was the help of the helpless and the hope of the hopeless, and he knew that serving God meant serving man, especially the most vulnerable in our society.”

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CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Camila Bernal, Kelly McCleary, Jennifer Henderson and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

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