Flags across Los Angeles County will be lowered to half-staff in honor of Catholic Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, who was shot and killed in his home in Hacienda Heights last week.
During a news conference Monday afternoon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that flags would fly at half-staff at County facilities in honor of O’Connell, whom she called a “force for goodness and kindness.”
Hahn and O’Connell were longtime friends, the county supervisor said, having first worked together years ago when Hahn was a Los Angeles City Councilmember and O’Connell was a pastor at Ascension Catholic Church in South Los Angeles.
“He was known to walk among the people, he reached out to gang members, he reached out to the homeless, he reached out to the transients,” Hahn said. “He knew that serving God meant serving man, especially those most vulnerable in our society.”
Hahn, who described herself as Protestant, said she mourns with the Catholic community and says people of all faiths have “felt the love of Bishop David.”
O’Connell was found shot to death in his home on Saturday, and on Monday, a man was arrested in connection with his killing.
The suspect has been identified as Carlos Medina, 65, of Torrance. Medina is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.
Investigators spoke to several people who know Medina who said he had recently been acting strange and irrationally, and was making comments about Bishop O’Connell “owing him money.”
Authorities are trying to piece together exactly what led to the deadly shooting, including the possibility of a dispute over money. But Luna stressed that the investigation is in its early stages and additional information will only be released once it is deemed appropriate.