Authorities with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office named a suspect in the slaying of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell over the weekend.
The 69-year-old priest was fatally shot in the torso in his home in Hacienda Heights just before 1 p.m. Saturday. Law enforcement officials named Carlos Medina, 65, as a person of interest in the case.
Medina is reportedly the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper. Although no motive has been determined, Sheriff Robert G. Luna said the suspect had done work in the bishop’s house in the past.
“This bishop made a huge difference in our community,” Luna said during a press conference Monday evening. “He was loved, and it’s very sad that we’re gathered here today to talk about his murder in this way.”
The sheriff noted they arrested Medina after a concerned person described him as “acting strange, irrational, and made comments about the bishop owing him money.”
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Luna also revealed more details about how O’Connell was found by authorities.
The bishop was found in his bed with a single gunshot wound after a deacon from the church called 911 when he entered O’Connell’s home to check on him because he was running late for a meeting.
No firearms were recovered at the scene and there were no signs of forced entry.
Surveillance footage from around the neighborhood showed a small, dark-colored SUV was briefly parked in the bishop’s driveway. When authorities arrived, though, the vehicle was gone.
Authorities surrounded Medina’s home Monday morning, demanding he surrender. At around 8 a.m., the suspect exited the house and was taken into custody without incident.
“Although our priority before 8 a.m. this morning was to apprehend the suspect — and we did by some amazing detective work — our next priority is to get him prosecuted,” Luna said.
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