The Los Angeles County sheriff said Monday evening that authorities have identified a suspect in the slaying of a local Catholic bishop, saying that the suspect’s wife worked as a housekeeper for the victim.
Sheriff Robert Luna said that a tip led his department to identify Carlos Medina of Torrance, Calif., as a person of interest in the murder of Bishop David O’Connell.
Luna said that detectives working on the scene discovered surveillance footage of a black SUV pulling into O’Connell’s residence driveway on Saturday, adding that Medina owns a vehicle that matches the description.
Luna added that several people told authorities that Medina, 65, was acting “strange and irrational” and made comments about O’Connell owing him money, adding that detectives are working to determine if a financial dispute led to the killing.
The sheriff said that the suspect’s wife has been cooperating and assisting authorities with their investigation.
The revelations come hours after authorities arrested Medina over the killing of O’Connell, who was found in his home suffering from a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene.
O’Connell, a native of Ireland, spent the last 45 years as a priest for the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the Catholic church, becoming a pillar in the south Los Angeles community over his work on gang intervention and with migrant children and families from Central America.
“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 honored and protected,” Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese said in a statement.
Luna said that authorities will provide additional information in the case when it is appropriate.