LA Bishop's Murder Leaves Community Shocked

Bishop David O'Connell (Holy Name of Mary Parish Facebook page)

A Los Angeles-area community is stunned after a beloved Catholic auxiliary bishop known as a "peacemaker" was shot and killed Saturday near his church.

Bishop David O'Connell's tragic death is being investigated as a homicide, with the individual or individuals responsible still at large, the Guardian reported.

The priest was reportedly found with a gunshot wound to his torso in Hacienda Heights around 1 p.m. Saturday, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

O'Connell, 69, was a native of Ireland and a priest for more than four decades, with his work in bridge-building over the years making a difference in his community. He was also known for helping the poor, according to those familiar with his work.

The faith leader's death is sparking shock and sadness, especially as questions about motive and other elements of the case remain unanswered.

"We can only imagine how the community is suffering because of this senseless murder," the Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department (LASD) said in a Facebook statement over the weekend. "Bishop O'Connell was a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on through the community that he helped build."

new cm coverimageThe post went on to note people are not alone in their grief and that the police department is there to support those suffering from these tragic events.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we are working diligently to seek those responsible," the LASD concluded.

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