Cork-born bishop shot dead in Los Angeles

Cork-Born Bishop Shot Dead In Los Angeles Cork-Born Bishop Shot Dead In Los Angeles
'Bishop Dave' described as 'a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant'
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Updated 7.30pm

The killing of a Cork-born bishop in Los Angeles is being treated as murder and a homicide investigation has been launched, police said.

The Irish Times reported that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it was investigating the shooting death of an adult male at 12.57pm on Saturday. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which offered no details about a possible suspect or motive.

The Irish Examiner previously reported that Bishop David O’Connell was shot in a house in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County, on Saturday.

The shooting took place at around 1pm local time (9pm GMT).

The 69-year-old bishop was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot in the torso.

In a statement, Most Reverend José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, said Bishop O’Connell had passed away “unexpectedly”.

He said: “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 honoured and protected.”

He added: “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.”


Bishop O’Connell was originally from Glanmire in Co Cork. He was ordained a deacon for the Los Angeles diocese by Ballingeary-born Cardinal Timothy Manning and his ordination to the priesthood was carried out by Inniscarra native, then Bishop of Hawaii, Bishop Joseph Scanlan.

Bishop Fintan Gavin of Cork and Ross Diocese said the shooting had “sent shockwaves” across his native diocese.

He offered sympathies on behalf of the people, priests and religious of the Diocese of Cork and Ross, and himself, to the O’Connell family in Cork, to Archbishop José H Gomes and the people, priests and religious of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Bishop Gavin said: “Since his ordination in 1979 Bishop David has served as a priest in Los Angeles but has always maintained his connection with family and friends here in Cork where has been a regular visitor. We pray that the Lord will console Bishop David’s many friends in Cork and throughout Ireland.” He said that prayers will be offered for Bishop David at Masses across the diocese in the days ahead.

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He added: “Bishop David worked tirelessly for peace and harmony in communities; may he now rest in the peace of the Lord.”

According to the LA diocese, Bishop O’Connell received a BA in Philosophy and English Literature from University College Dublin in 1975, a Bachelor of Divinity from Maynooth College in 1977 and a Masters of Spirituality from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1987.

He served for 45 years in the US, where he was Associate Pastor at St. Raymond in Downey, St. Maria Goretti in Long Beach, and St. Hillary in Pico Rivera, and then as Pastor of St. Frances X. Cabrini, Ascension Catholic Church, St. Eugene and St. Michael Parishes.

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