Husband of housekeeper arrested in Los Angeles Catholic auxiliary bishop's shooting death

An arrest has been made in connection to the death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell, who was found dead in his Hacienda Heights home on Saturday.

Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna said 65-year-old Carlos Medina of Torrance is the suspect in the death of the high-ranking Catholic bishop. Luna, in a Monday afternoon news conference, said Medina is the husband of O'Connell's housekeeper and that Medina had "done work" around the residence before.

"Detectives were told by a tipster that they were concerned because Medina was acting strange, irrational and made comments about the bishop owing him money," Luna said.

The sheriff said Medina drove an SUV similar to one surveillance footage showed in the bishop's driveway for a short time on the day O'Connell was found.

Authorities were alerted Medina had left Los Angeles County Sunday and a warrant was issued for his arrest, Luna said.

By 2 a.m. Monday, investigators learned that Medina had returned to his home in Torrance, about 25 miles southwest of Hacienda Park, and responding officers "conducted call outs for Medina to surrender, but he refused," Luna said.

At about 8:15 a.m. Monday, Medina came out of his home and was taken into custody, Luna said.

Two firearms were recovered from Medina's residence, Luna said, and detectives will examine the firearms to determine if they were used in O'Connell's death. The sheriff added detectives have been in contact with the housekeeper, who was not named, as she was not working at the home the day O'Connell's body was found.

"She's been fully cooperative and assisting the detectives with all the information they have," Luna said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies guard the entrance to the street of Bishop David O'Connell's home in Hacienda Heights, Calif., on Sunday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies guard the entrance to the street of Bishop David O'Connell's home in Hacienda Heights, Calif., on Sunday.

What we know about O'Connell's shooting death

Homicide detectives arrived at the home in Hacienda Heights, about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Saturday afternoon to respond to a "shooting death investigation."

Luna said a deacon went to O'Connell's home to check on him because O'Connell was late for a meeting, and the deacon alerted authorities.

Officers found O'Connell, 69, with a gunshot wound in his upper body and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Luna said. There was no sign of forced entry into the home.

O'Connell, who was from Ireland, was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979, the Vatican News reported. Pope Francis appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles in June 2015.

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said in a statement Sunday he was "deeply disturbed and saddened" to learn O'Connell's death was being investigated as a homicide and asked for prayers for his family. O'Connell was a good friend of Los Angeles and he showed compassion to those struggling with poverty in the area, Gomez said Monday.

"He was a good priest and a good bishop and a man of peace," Gomez said. "We are very sad to lose him."

Luna said authorities are working to prosecute Medina.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Arrest made in death of Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell