Beloved Catholic Bishop Murder: Suspect Arrested, What We Know So Far

A California man who police arrested Monday for the death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell apparently had connections to the victim, according to police.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, police arrested Carlos Medina on Sunday, whose wife reportedly worked for O’Connell for years. The arrest comes less than 48 hours after  O’Connell was found dead at his home in Hacienda Heights on Saturday afternoon with a single gunshot wound to his torso.


Law & Crime reports that investigators noticed a “dark, compact SUV” that had been in the bishop’s driveway for quite some time, leading them to name Medina as a person of interest. Medina owns a similar vehicle, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said.

A tipster also contacted police and said Medina had been acting unusual lately and complaining that the bishop owed him money.

The Suspect Did Work at the Bishop’s Residence

Medina “previously done work around the residence” at the bishop’s home, according to police. The suspect’s wife, who worked for decades as a housekeeper for the bishop, is a devout Catholic who would also take care of the bishop’s dog, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Candles and messages are left near Bishop David O’Connell’s residence in Hacienda Heights, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023. O’Connell was shot and killed Saturday just blocks from a church, a slaying of a longtime priest hailed as a “peacemaker” that’s stunned the Los Angeles religious community, authorities said. Detectives are investigating the death of Bishop David O’Connell as a homicide, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Medina Refused to Surrender

Police said Medina fled the area after the murder but returned to his residence shortly after. Law enforcement arrived to arrest him Monday at around 2 a.m. but he refused to surrender. At around 9 a.m. Monday, after a standoff with deputies at his Torrance home, Medina was taken into custody.

Investigators found two firearms at the suspect’s home, but the make and caliber of the guns have not been shared with the public.

Medina Called an “Odd Person”

According to neighbor Marty Hernandez, Medina “always seemed like an odd person” and had “weird stuff around his pad,” including things such as tools, bikes, buckets, and junk in his front yard.

“I’m just shocked and overwhelmed,” Hernandez told the Los Angeles Daily News. “You wouldn’t know that you have somebody that lives next to your house that would do such a thing.”

Neighbor Luiz Lopez added that Medina seemed like “a good man, your average older man, always talkative,” but had a lot of odd quirks.

O’Connell Was Found Deceased in His Bed as Community Mourns his Loss

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the bishop was found deceased in his bed from the gunshot wound. Neighbors reportedly said they didn’t hear a gunshot or any unusual noise.

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez mourned O’Connell’s death in a written statement, referring to the 69-year-old as a “good friend.”

“As a priest and later a bishop here in Los Angeles for forty-five years, Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother. 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,” Gomez said.

“He was also a good friend, and I will miss him greatly. I know we all will. Please join me in praying for Bishop Dave and for his family in Ireland. May Our Lady of Guadalupe wrap him in the mantle of her love, and may the angels lead him into paradise, and may he rest in peace.”

Medina remains behind bars on a $2 million bail. Check back for updates.

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[Featured image: Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, right, from the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, is revered by an unidentified pilgrim, left, after a special “Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants” at the Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles Sunday, June 24, 2018. O’Connell, a Roman Catholic bishop in Southern California was shot and killed Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, just blocks from a church, a slaying that’s stunned the Los Angeles religious community, authorities said. Detectives are investigating the death of Bishop O’Connell as a homicide, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)