Irish Bishop shot dead in Los Angeles
The victim has been named as David O'Connell.
An Irish bishop was shot and killed in the United States on Saturday afternoon.
The victim, who has been named as David O'Connell, was found dead at a home by local police authorities.
An Irish bishop has been shot and killed in California.https://t.co/WtXtPiEinu
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 19, 2023
The shooting occurred in Hacienda Heights, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, America's second-largest city. Various US media outlets say that the police are treating the death as suspicious, with investigations underway.
Mr O'Connell, who was 69 years of age, was the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Cork native studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin before moving to the United States over 45 years ago,
Working within some of the most underprivileged areas of LA, O'Connell told Catholic Ireland in an interview that "I've always thought that the Catholic parish is the real player in making life better for the people in these areas".
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez said that Bishop O'Connell's death was a shock, and added that he had "no words to express my sadness."
Irish born Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell has been shot and killed in Los Angeles, United States of America
May He Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/Yh4zK3umkw
— Catholic Arena (@CatholicArena) February 19, 2023
Archbishop Gomez went on to add that the Cork man was "a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honoured and protected".
Discussing the death of Mr O'Connell, LASD Homicide Bureau Detective Michael Modica said that "It’s very early in the investigation. We have got a lot more steps we have to take to make more determination to what’s happening".
Los Angeles has seen a sharp uptick in violent crime over recent times, with the issue of safety a key factor in last November's Mayoral elections.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the rate of murders within the Californian city had risen 35% over a two-year period between 2020 and 2022.