The husband of a housekeeper was arrested Monday in connection with the shooting death of a Catholic bishop near Los Angeles, who authorities said may have been killed over a financial beef.
Two days after Bishop David O’Connell’s body was found in his Hacienda Heights home, Carlos Medina, 65, was taken into custody in Torrance after a standoff with law enforcement, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert G. Luna said.
Medina’s wife is O’Connell’s housekeeper and has not been arrested or publicly identified.
Luna said his department received tips about Medina’s location and possible motive — which the man believed O’Connell owed him.
Security video showed an SUV similar to the one the housekeeper temporarily used in the driveway of the Bishop home before the murder, Luna said. The suspect had previously done “some work” at the home, he said.
At least one tipster was “concerned because Medina was behaving strangely, irrationally, making comments about the bishop’s having to pay,” Luna said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
The suspect left Torrance for central California, but detectives received a tip that he had returned home, prompting them to respond to the residence, which turned out to be a dead end.
Special Enforcement Bureau tactical agents ordered the suspect to leave the residence, but he refused for an unspecified amount of time Monday morning, Luna said. He eventually surrendered and was arrested without incident, he said.
A search of the residence authorized by a judge turned up two guns and other evidence linked to the crime, Luna said.
On Saturday, sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue at 12:57 p.m. following a medical emergency call, authorities said.
O’Connell, 69, was found with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, the sheriff’s department said.
Originally from Ireland, O’Connell was a priest and then bishop of Los Angeles for 45 years. Angelus NewsA Catholic news service, reported.
O’Connell, affectionately known as “Bishop Dave,” “has been the episcopal vicar for the Archdiocese’s San Gabriel Episcopal Region since 2015, when Pope Francis named him a coadjutor,” Angelus announced. O’Connell helped defuse tensions between residents and law enforcement in South Los Angeles.
“He was a peacemaker with a heart for the poor and immigrants, and he was passionate about building a society where the sanctity and dignity of every human life is respected and protected,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomes said. Report Saturday. “He was also a good friend and I will miss him very much.”
Luna promised to help in the successful investigation of the suspect.
“This man, this bishop, made a huge difference in our community,” Luna said. “He was loved.”