A Catholic Bishop has been shot dead in California.
David O’Connell, who was 69 and an Auxiliary Bishop, was known for having a heart for the poor. Police say he was killed on Saturday afternoon in a residential area of Los Angeles.
He'd served in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 45 years and was affectionately known as Bishop Dave.
Los Angeles Police say they responded to a medical emergency at the Bishop’s residential address and found him suffering from a gunshot wound.
“We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “Bishop O’Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on through the community that he helped build.”
In a statement, the Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez said his office was “deeply disturbed and saddened” by the news :
“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 honoured and protected. He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly.”
Bishop O’Connell was known for ministering to people experiencing gang violence and poverty, but was also a stand-up comedian who hosted comedy events raising money for St Michael’s, a church and school in a poverty-stricken area of Los Angeles.
The motive for the killing isn't yet known but the Sheriff’s department said there was no danger to the public.