April 19. 2024. 8:30

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Husband of housekeeper arrested over killing of Irish-born bishop, police in Los Angeles say

The suspect in custody for the murder of Irish-born Bishop David O’Connell in Los Angeles is the husband of his housekeeper, police have said.

At a press conference on Monday the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department identified the suspect as 65-year-old Carlos Medina.

Sheriff of Los Angeles county Robert Luna said the man had had also carried out some work previously at the bishop’s house.

He said the suspect drove a car – a dark compact SUV – which was similar to a vehicle seen in surveillance footage parking in the driveway of the bishop’s residence and staying for a short period.

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He said a witness had maintained that the suspect was acting strangely and had made comments about the bishop owing him money.

However, Sheriff Luna said that he was “not certain of any dispute” between the suspect and the bishop but that this was what police had been told and that detectives would seek to try verify it.

He said the suspect had been arrested at 8.15 local time on Monday morning. He said weapons were found at the suspect’s home and that ballistic tests were pending.

Sheriff Luna said the bishop’s housekeeper and wife of the suspect had been interviewed by police and was co-operating with the investigation.

Police in Los Angeles had said on Sunday that it was treating the death of Bishop O’Connell as murder.

Bishop O’ Connell was found dead on Saturday at his home in Hacienda Heights in Los Angeles.

Sheriff Luna said a deacon had phoned emergency services after calling to the bishop’s house on Saturday as he was late for a meeting.

Police said officers had called to the house just before 1pm on Saturday and discovered a man who had been shot.

“Paramedics arrived and pronounced him dead at the scene.”

Sheriff Luna said that Bishop O’Connell had sustained at least one gunshot wound to the upper body while in the bedroom of his residence.

Archbishop José Gomez said at the press conference that Bishop O’Connell was “a good priest, a good bishop and a man of peace”.

He said he had spoken fluent Spanish “with an Irish accent”.

Bishop O’Connell, who was a native of County Cork had served in the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1979.