David O’Connell, a Los Angeles Catholic Bishop, was fatally shot dead in a California suburb. An arrest has been reported in connection with the shooting case, the LA County Sheriff’s Department announced on Monday. 

Who was David O’Connell?

David O’Connell was born on August 16, 1953, in Glanmire, County Cork, Republic of Ireland. He studied at University College Dublin and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English literature in 1975. He also earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Maynooth College in 1977. 

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David O’Connell gained his priesthood knowledge at All Hallows College in Dublin. He was appointed as a deacon by Ireland-born Cardinal Timothy Manning of Los Angeles. In 1979, he was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at All Hallows by John Scanlon, an American Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. While serving in Los Angeles, he earned a Master of Spirituality from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1987. 

O’Connell served as an associate pastor at three parishes in Southern California. St. Raymond in Downey from 1979 to 1983, St. Maria Goretti in Long Beach during 1983-84 and St. Hillary in Pico Rivera from 1984 to 1988. His service as pastor extended to four Los Angeles parishes. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and Ascension Parish from 1988 to 2003, Ascension Catholic, St. Eugene from 2004 to 2006, and St. Michael from 2003 to 2015.

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O’Connell also worked for various periods as a diocesan deacon and a member of the Council of Priests. He also remained a member of the Priest Pension Board, the Together in Mission Board, and the Archdiocesan Finance Council. He was also a Knight of Peter Claver.

O’Connell was also appointed as titular bishop of Cell Ausaille and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2015 by Pope Francis. He was consecrated by Archbishop José Gómez on September 8, 2015, when Gómez named him his episcopal vicar for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region.

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He was found dead after being injured by a gunshot at his home in Hacienda Heights at around 1 pm PST on February 18, 2023. His death was revealed in a statement by Archbishop José H. Gomez. Police have initiated a homicide investigation.