C: Angelus News

Housekeeper’s husband arrested in murder of Cork-born Bishop David O’Connell in LA

A man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Irish Bishop David O’Connell. The accused, Carlos Medina (65) is the husband of the Cork-born bishop’s housekeeper, according to police.

Bishop O’Connell (69) was murdered over the weekend in Los Angeles County in California, leading to an outpouring of grief and shock in both the US and Ireland.

The Auxiliary Bishop of the San Gabriel pastoral region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was found dead inside his home in Hacienda Heights in the Torrance City area of LA County on Saturday, with the LA police department confirming he had sustained at least one gunshot wound to his upper body while in the bedroom of his residence.

Police launched a murder investigation, and shortly after, received a tip that Medina may be a person of interest, and had been “strange and irrational” and had made comments about the bishop. During a press conference, police confirmed Medina is the husband of Bishop O’Connell’s housekeeper, and he had previously done work at the bishop’s residence. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that police had been tipped off that Medina had left his home, but had then later returned. A warrant was issued for his arrest and a search of his home.

“Carson Sheriff station deputies, along with our major crime bureau detectives, contained the location and conducted callouts for Medina to surrender, but he refused. He refused to come out of his residence,” police said.

At around 8:15 am on Monday California time, police said Mr Medina “exited his residence and was taken into custody without further incident” after being urged to surrender himself. Mr Luna stated that two firearms along with other possible items of evidence have been recovered from his home, and are due to be tested.

Mr Medina’s wife has been fully cooperative according to police. She had not been working on the day the bishop was found murdered, and is currently being interviewed by detectives. Commenting further, Mr Luna said it is not certain that there was any form of dispute between the bishop of Medina. He said other witnesses will be interviewed in order to get a fuller picture of what happened. He also said that there was no evidence of forced entry to the bishop’s home.

Paying tribute to the much-loved bishop, Mr Luna said he had been inundated with phone calls from people who had worked with the Auxiliary Bishop. 

“This man, this bishop, made a huge difference in our community. He was loved, and it’s very sad that we’re gathered here today to talk about his murder,” he said.

Meanwhile, a moving video has been shared thousands of times online alongside tributes to the bishop, who has been described as a “peacemaker”. 

Film-maker Kenny McCann originally shot the film, featuring Bishop O’Connell, back in 2020 when the Covid pandemic first struck, with States across the US entering into lockdowns. In the throwback video, Bishop O’Connell could be seen climbing the summit of the San Gabriel Valley San Jose hills to bless the areas of Southern California and beyond and call on God for his protection.

Paying tribute, Catholic Connect shared the video, writing: “A good bishop was murdered yesterday. Rest in peace”.

“This is a throwback video of Bishop David O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of the San Gabriel pastoral region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles climbed the high summit of the San Gabriel Valley San Jose hills to bless the most populous counties of Southern California and beyond: 15 million people over the San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Orange County with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament against the Covid-19 Pandemic. Alleluia!”


Others remembered the bishop as someone who brought groups together and had reached out to the homeless and gang members, and was passionate about serving those in need. 

Paying fond tribute, Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose H Gomez said Bishop O’Connell had served in LA  for 40 years, was fluent in Spanish – and spoke it with an Irish accent.

“Every day he worked to show compassion to the poor, to the homeless, to the immigrant, and to all those living on society’s margins,” he said, adding: “He was a good priest and a good bishop, and a man of peace. And we are very sad to lose him.”

Bishop Robert Barron, the second most followed Catholic leader in the world after Pope Francis, also paid tribute to Bishop O’Connell – sharing that they had been ordained auxiliary bishops for the area at the same time.


Back in his native diocese of Cork and Ross, a sense of shock was palpable. Bishop Fintan Gavin said Bishop O’Connell kept in contact with his family and friends in Cork, and remained a regular visitor. He said the bishop had worked “tirelessly” for “peace and harmony” in the communities he served.

Paying tribute, he said: “On behalf of the people, priests and religious of the Diocese of Cork and Ross, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my sympathies and prayerful support to the O’Connell Family here in Cork, to Archbishop Jose H Gomes and the people, priests and religious of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“Since his ordination in 1979 Bishop David has served as a priest in LA but has always maintained his connection with family and friends in Cork where has been a regular visitor.”

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