LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Roman Catholic bishop in Southern California was found dead Saturday of a gunshot wound, in an incident the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is now investigating as a murder.
The newspaper reported that Bishop David O’Connell was found in Hacienda Heights around 1 p.m.
According to information from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, homicide detectives responded to “a shooting death investigation.” A male adult victim was located and pronounced dead at the scene.
The block in question is a residential street lined with one-story ranch-style homes.
Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez confirmed the death, saying O’Connell, who served in the city for 45 years as a priest and later a bishop, “passed away unexpectedly.”
“It is a shock and I have no words to express my sadness,” Gomez said in a statement, calling him “a good friend.”
“Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother,” he said. “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.”
Hacienda Heights is an unincorporated community about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles.
Crux updated this story to reflect the change in the status of the inquiry to an active murder investigation.